Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > Health Sciences > 149. Robert Tucker Medical Diploma

149.  King's College Board of Trustees.  Draft of medical diploma of Robert Tucker. Manuscript on paper. New York, May 15, 1770. RBML, Columbia College Papers

Though Columbia's medical school, now known as the College of Physicians and Surgeons, is the second oldest in the United States, having been founded in 1767, two years after the Medical College of Philadelphia, now the University of Pennsylvania College of Medicine, Columbia has the honor of having conferred the country's first doctor of medicine degree on Robert Tucker in 1770. While Tucker's diploma appears to no longer survive, this draft preserves the text, if not the format, of one of the founding documents of American medicine.

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