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College of Physicians and Surgeons of Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee



News about College of Physicians and Surgeons was carried in the Commercial Appeal newspaper.  The 1907 catalog is available on the University of Memphis Digital Commons.  The school seal (right) is from the catalog.  HathiTrust has copies of the Flexner Report.   


Dr. Heber Jones, President of the Memphis Board of Health, led a group of doctors  in the founding of the College of Physicians and Surgeons.  The school opened in its new building on October 1, 1906 with 64 students taught by a faculty of 21.   Forty of the initial matriculates were juniors or seniors; 45 were from Mississippi or Tennessee; all were males. Flexner lists enrollment as 77 in 1909.   One of his main criticisms of College of Physicians and Surgeons was its nonexistent entrance requirements, claiming that it used an “Accept students and try them out” admissions policy.

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The Y.M.C.A., “an adjunct to every medical college in the country,” had a room set aside in the main building.  Students had access to supervised recreation with shower facilities.  In 1907 Junior and Senior students of the college formed the Louis Leroy Medical Society with monthly meetings for the reading and discussion of papers. In 1910 the college received a chapter of the Chi Zeta Chi medical fraternity.  The Commercial Appeal notes an annual banquet and June dances. 

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In1908 College of Physicians and Surgeons added a college of pharmacy and in 1909 added colleges of dental surgery and law.  The school began to advertise itself as the Medical Department of the University of Memphis.  In July 1910 the school initiated discussions about a possible merger with Memphis Hospital Medical College.  


In 1911 College of Physicians and Surgeons was itself absorbed by a new Memphis-based  University of Tennessee College of Medicine, itself a merger of the University of Nashville Medical Department and the University of Tennessee Medical Department.

Bricks and Mortar

College of Physicians and Surgeons opened in a new $65,000 building—later named Lindsley Hall.  The three-story brick and stone structure measured 75 x 75 feet.  The above-ground basement level contained a free dispensary.  A clinical amphitheater with 250 seats was on the ground floor.  Immediately above it was the main lecture hall, also seating 250.  The third floor contained the dissecting rooms, well lighted and ventilated by skylights.  The Flexner Report  noted that laboratory facilities for chemistry were good, but those for pathology and bacteriology were “less than fair” and those for physiology “practically nothing.”

Memphis C&P building_edited.jpg

With a physical address of 875-883 Madison Avenue, the college was located across the street from City Hospital, where P.& S. students had seven one-hour clinical opportunities each week. The next-door Baptist Memorial Sanitarium, a factor in the school’s inclusion in the University of Tennessee system, was completed in 1912.


In 1911 Lindsley Hall became the main building of the University of Tennessee College of Medical.  It was razed some time before 1985 when the Lamar Alexander Building was completed at the same location.

The 1906 building.  Image from the 1907 catalog. 


            School Colors: Black and Tan

            Team name: Medicos, Black and Gold


The catalog notes that in its first year, the school “was represented by a very creditable basket ball team.”  That team participated in the Memphis City League against Memphis High School, Christian Brother College, and the Y.M.C.A. team.  A year later the Medicos made a weekend trip into Mississippi, defeating the University of Mississippi and losing twice to Mississippi A&M.  


Also in 1908 the Medicos began football, losing badly to Ogilvie Training School 54-0 and defeating Memphis Hospital Medical College 10-0.  After rebranding itself as the University of Memphis in 1909 the school stepped up its football program, adding Mississippi, Mississippi A&M, and Sewanee to a schedule that also included Christian Brothers, Hendrix College and Henderson College.  An application to join the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association was denied because the Medicos had used ineligible players. 


After Physicians and Surgeons was absorbed by the University of Tennessee, football players became part of the famous “Memphis Meds."

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