Connecticut issued its first medical license in 1652 and, by 1792, chartered a state medical society. Public health threats through the centuries included small pox, tuberculosis, and other contagious diseases. In the 1800s, medical training and care became increasingly institutionalized. New London opened the first US eye infirmary, Yale issued the state’s first MD degrees, and Hartford Retreat initiated new treatments for mental illness. During the Civil War, New Haven’s State Hospital converted to military use and, as Knight US Army General Hospital, treated 25,340 soldiers. Twentieth-century advances include Dr. Hilda Crosby Standish’s work to improve women’s reproductive health and the nation’s first hospice home-care program, which opened in Branford.
More on Health and Medicine from the CT Digital ArchiveBrowse more interactive content on the CT Digital Archive website.
Horace Wells Discovers Pain-free Dentistry
This Hartford dentist played key role in the development of anesthesia but competing claims to discovery obscured his accomplishment. …[more]
University of Connecticut Health Center. “Hartford Medical Society Library,” 2012. Link.
Harvey Cushing / John Hay Whitney Medical Library. “Medical Historical Library,” 2012. Link.
Burrow, Gerard N. A History of Yale’s School of Medicine Passing Torches to Others. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.
Kuslan, Louis I. Connecticut Science, Technology, and Medicine in the Era of the American Revolution. Hartford, CT: American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Connecticut, 1978.
Johnson, John W. Griswold V. Connecticut: Birth Control and the Constitutional Right of Privacy. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2005.
Thoms, Herbert. Jared Eliot, Minister, Doctor, Scientist, and His Connecticut. Hamden, CT: Shoe String Press, 1967.
Goodheart, Lawrence B. Mad Yankees: The Hartford Retreat for the Insane and Nineteenth-Century Psychiatry. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003.
Falvey, Kerry L., Thomas P. Duffy, Sherwin B. Nuland, John Harley. Warner, Richard Belitsky, and Yale University. School of Medicine. Medicine at Yale: The First 200 Years. New Haven, CT: Yale University in association with Yale University Press, 2010.
Thoms, Herbert. The Heritage of Connecticut Medicine. New Haven, CT: Whaples-Bullis Company, 1942.
Braceland, Francis J. The Institute of Living; the Hartford Retreat, 1822-1972. Hartford, CT: The Institute of Living, 1972.