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.
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