Florida Medical Association

Florida Medical Magazine Spring 2017

Magazine of the Florida Medical Association

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17 www.FLmedical.org FLORIDA MEDICAL MAGAZINE SPRING 2017 The Architects From the nation's founding to present day, physicians have had powerful voices in public service. Karen Cyphers, Ph.D. Physicians were instrumental in shaping our nation — some serving among its most infl uential founders, and others who were lesser known but vital to the American Revolution, the dra ing of the U.S. Constitution, and the development of state governments. is doesn't count the physicians who have kept our troops and leaders alive, those who manage national health policy programs, or the 300 or so who have served in the U.S. Congress to date. Let's start at the beginning: Five of the 56 Declaration of Inde- pendence signees were physicians: Drs. Josiah Bartlett, Lyman Hall, Benjamin Rush, Matthew ornton and Oliver Wolcott. Dr. Rush, a surgeon in the Continental Army and treasurer of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, wasn't only a founding father but also considered to be the father of American psychiatry. 1 His infl uence extended widely as a mentor, professor, leader of the American Enlightenment, and advocate for public health through environmental and military hygiene. Dr. Rush also served on the Continental Congress and used his medical skills on the battlefi eld to mitigate disarray in the Army Medical Service. Dr. Hall served as governor of Georgia briefl y, and he used that time to establish the University of Georgia before returning to private medical practice. Dr. Wolcott signed the Declaration of Independence as well as the Articles of Confederation and served as the 19th governor of Connecticut. Dr. ornton's story is similar. He was a surgeon with the New Hampshire Militia, served as the fi rst President of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and as a delegate to the Continental Congress. Dr. Bartlett may have been among the fi rst among American phy- sician leaders to focus on professional regulation. While governor of New Hampshire, he penned a letter to the state medical society — which he also had founded — asking the group to prevent "ignorant and bold pretenders" from practicing medicine. Following independence, at least three physicians helped dra the { L E A D E R S H I P } continued on page 19

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