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With almost 200 years of history, Rush University is one of America’s oldest and most prestigious seats of medical learning.
Initially founded as Rush Medical College in 1837, the institution on the west side of Chicago was created just two days before the Windy City – then with a population of just 4,000 - was incorporated as a city by the Illinois state legislature.
The school was started by Daniel Brainard, a renowned surgeon and scientific investigator, and was named for Benjamin Rush, the only physician to sign the US Declaration of Independence.
Some of the great names of American medicine — William Heath Byford, Christian Fenger, Nicholas Senn, Ludvig Hektoen, Frank Billings, James Bryan Herrick and Arthur Dean Bevan— have since worked at the institution, which, after an affiliation with the University of Chicago, became Rush University in 1972.
Today the university’s faculty, students, researchers, residents and fellows continue the traditions of outstanding health care education, research and community service that were part of its founder’s guiding ethos.
For instance, Rush University’s students – who numbered around 2,500 in 2014 – carried out more than 8,000 hours of community service through the Rush Community Service Initiative Program that year, while faculty members added more than 3,500 hours.
The general hospital associated with Rush – the Rush University Medical Center – was Chicago’s first major hospital and remains one of the nation’s most highly-regarded medical centres.
As well as clinical excellence, Rush also have striven to have a culture of inclusion. It was the first American medical school to award a doctor of medicine degree to an African-American man - David Jones Peck – in 1847, and seeks to continue this spirit of diversity in its classrooms, health care settings and in the laboratory.
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