The earliest physicians arriving in Pittsburgh had their roots in military service. The legacy of these physician-soldiers extends from pioneer days through modern times. The involvement of military contingents, physicians serving with or trained by military units, and the myriad organizations that were created to respond to their efforts have played a critical role in the long-term development of healthcare in the city.
It started with the first physician-soldiers who came with the British army. Initially, they came to evict the French and claim the area in the king's name, and later they returned to protect the Ohio Land Company's first settlements. Initially, their presence was fleeting; they stayed only as long as orders required. It would not be long before the settlements grew and an initial few decided to stay and make the area their home.
As Physician-Soldiers at the Forks: The Impact of the Military on Medical Care in Pittsburgh (1754 – 1900) demonstrates, the military left an indelible mark on the city's medical practices. Today, Pittsburgh is a city driven by its medical and education sectors, both grown from roots that were planted more than 250 years ago on the day that the first physician-soldier landed at the forks.
The foundations that were laid by these physician-soldiers should not be forgotten, and this is their story.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Robert M. Grom has extensive experience in nonprofit executive management and fundraising. He is a frequent presenter, author, and consultant, and has served as a volunteer leader in many of Pittsburgh's local and regional community organizations. He has written and consulted on numerous Pittsburgh medical history subjects. He is a graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in political science and public administration. He is a member of the C. F. Reynolds Medical History Society at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the Braddock's Field Historical Society, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He and his wife reside in The Villages, Florida.
Publisher: America Through Time
Images: 200 Black And White
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9 (h)