Tue May 15, 2012, 01:32 AM
ellisonz (26,658 posts)
Tracing the Path of Jewish Medical Pioneers
By RONI CARYN RABIN
Published: May 14, 2012
The young man who applied to medical school in the spring of 1933 had graduated from Dartmouth College with good grades, a keen interest in medicine and, according to the university official who interviewed him, a nice sense of humor.
The application did not ask about religion, but the interviewer surmised it. “Probably Jewish,” he wrote in a scribbled evaluation, “but no unpleasant evidence of it.”
The handwritten note was found in the admissions files of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. After the implementation of quotas, the proportion of Jews in the student body fell to less than 5 percent in 1938 from nearly half in 1920.
The note is displayed in an exhibition called “Trail of the Magic Bullet: The Jewish Encounter With Modern Medicine, 1860-1960,” on view at Yeshiva University Museum in Manhattan. The exhibition offers a rare look at a topic few patients ever stop to consider: the emergence of European and American Jews as innovators in medicine, despite their status as outsiders frequently scorned by the medical establishment.
More: NYTimes Story
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