• Building Schools, Making Doctors: Architecture and the Modern American Physician
    Katherine L. Carroll
    University of Pittsburgh Press, 2022
    Katherine L. Carroll

Gordon and Kaelber, Meharry Medical College, 1931, senior medical and nursing students receive instruction in surgery. "Souvenir of the Dedication of Meharry's New Educational and Hospital Buildings …" (Nashville: Meharry Medical College, 1931). Courtesy of the George Eastman Museum. Copyright Meharry Medical College Library and Archives. Photo: Marvin Willard Wiles

In the late nineteenth century, medical educators determined to transform American physicians into scientifically trained, elite professionals recognized medical school design as a critical part of their reform efforts. By 1940, almost every American medical college had rebuilt or substantially renovated its facility. Building Schools, Making Doctors: Architecture and the Modern American Physician argues that the structures helped to define and promote the modern pedagogy, the latest science, and the new (prestigious, white, male) physician. Extensive archival research reveals that donors and architects, particularly John D. Rockefeller's General Education Board and architectural firm Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge, also shaped medical school design. With most of the early twentieth-century medical colleges still in use and a major wave of medical school expansion underway, this pioneering investigation provides historical context for the medical educators, patrons, and architects who call on medical school buildings to improve and diversify medical training today.

Katherine L. Carroll is an architectural historian based in Albany, New York. Her current research investigates American medical schools and the formulation of science; the creation of professional identities, particularly as they converge with conceptions of gender and race; and patronage. Her work has appeared in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians and Corporate Patronage of Art and Architecture in the United States (Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2019). Support for Carroll's research has come from the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, and the Rockefeller Archive Center. Carroll has presented widely on medical school design, including at annual meetings of the Society of Architectural Historians and the American Association for the History of Medicine. She earned a doctorate in the history of art and architecture from Boston University and taught most recently at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.