In October 1893 the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine formally opened. Endowed through the philanthropy of Mary Elizabeth Garrett and the Women's Medical Fund, it was the first graduate school of medicine in the United States and the first to admit women on equal terms as men. It was originally projected to open in conjunction with The Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1889. In a letter to trustees of the hospital at the outset of planning for a school of medicine, Mr. Johns Hopkins advised "you will bear constantly in mind that it is my wish and purpose that the institution shall ultimately form a part of the Medical School of that university for which I have made ample provision by my will". However, interest from the original endowment dwindled and there were subsequent delays in building facilities for the medical school and hiring of faculty. Miss Garrett and her colleagues not only contributed the level of funding needed but also set conditions for the use of their donations. One of their key provisions was that women be admitted as students, appointed to the faculty, and afforded the same opportunities as their male colleagues. They also required rigorous academic conditions for admission.
Daniel C. Gilman, president of the university, and William H. Welch, the first faculty appointment to the school of medicine, were the main intellectual architects of the curriculum. Another of their shared goals was to assemble the most able, highly trained faculty for the school. Over the decades the school evolved into one of the leading models for medical education. Today The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine offers Ph.D. and Master's programs in the biomedical sciences and related fields in addition to the four-year M.D. program.
Archival materials pertaining to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
- Institutional Records – founding documents, records of governance and administration that provided information about the organization and operations.
- Personal Paper Collections – faculty, staff, students, and alumni
- Photographs, Audio, and Moving Image Collections – still photos of buildings, group and portrait photographs of faculty, staff, students, and alumni, oral histories, and film footage
- Material Culture Collections – oil portraits, sculpture, antique furnishings, textiles, medical apparatus and equipment
- Published histories of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine