By Naomi Rogers
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Additional info for An alternative path: the making and remaking of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital of Philadelphia
His reading led him to investigate homeopathy for himself, and he was finally convinced of its efficacy when a serious dissection wound in his arm, which threatened to necessitate amputation, was healed by homeopathically prepared doses of arsenic. "8 He found that as an avowed homeopath his colleagues ostracized him, so he left for South America to undertake a zoological expedition sponsored by the king of Saxony. Because of his connections at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and an invitation to establish a homeopathic cholera hospital, Hering went to Philadelphia in 1833 and found the German-speaking communities of eastern Pennsylvania more accepting of homeopathy.
This group, whose powers were formalized in 1849, was initially known as the board of managers, but the name was later changed to the board of trustees. Why Found a Medical School? That the founders of the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania decided to found a medical school rather than to continue American homeopaths' practice of teaching by preceptor demonstrates that they were aware of the changing social and medical currents. They chose to establish the school in Philadelphia (a mecca for medical study).
These attacks resonated powerfully with other political and cultural forces that were already shaping the American medical world, and became part of a popular health movement that was developing during the 1840s, a movement whose proponents shared Thomson's distrust of medical authority and heroic therapies. Hydropathy or water therapy, for example, reached the United States from Germany in the 1840s and gained widespread public support. 6 Although populist medical rhetoric did not disappear, by the late 1840s Thomson's suspicion of formal medical education was no longer so widely persuasive.