Irving M. London, M.D., the founding Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Einstein, in 1955.
A Medical Education Revolution
After several years of planning, the new Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Einstein) recruited its first class of just 56 students and began their instruction in the fall of 1955. This event took place in a not-yet-fully-outfitted Forchheimer building, which was then the only one of what later became a cluster of Einstein buildings. Across the street was the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center (BMHC, now Jacobi Medical Center, JMC), which was the original (and, for years, only), teaching hospital of the College.
The Department of Medicine at this new College evolved, from its early stages – with 56 medical students, a small outstanding young faculty, one science building and one teaching hospital – to a world-renowned medical research and educational institution, with over 800 medical and doctoral students, numerous post-doctoral fellows and trainees, a large outstanding faculty, four major science buildings, and six major teaching hospital affiliates.
Faculty, House Staff, and Fellows
Einstein’s Department of Medicine began its academic existence in July 1955 when Irving London, the first chairman (Figure 1), came to the new medical school from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons with several other young physician-scientists: Charles Frank from Columbia University, I. Herbert Scheinberg also from Columbia University, as well as Saul Korey from Case Western Reserve University.
Ernst Jaffé and Victor Herbert came as research fellows and Milford Fulop came as Chief Resident of the Medical Service at BMHC. David Hamerman came as a junior faculty member in late 1955 and Bracha Ramot and Irwin Arias as research fellows in 1956 (Figure 2).
Drs. London, Korey, and Scheinberg were joined in 1957 by the late Howard Eder and subsequently by Quentin Deming (1959). Their visionary planning along with the support and fund-raising of Dean Marcus Kogel (previously New York City’s Commissioner of Health), created one of the premier Departments of Medicine in the country at Einstein. Dr. Korey was joined in 1956 by the late Labe Scheinberg, in 1957 by Robert Katzman, and in 1958 by Isabel Rapin, all from Columbia University.
What originally began as Medicine’s Division of Neurology became a separate academic department within a few years.