Resistance to the Medical College Proposal

Despite the report that showed support for a medical college and the financial benefits that could come with it, the failure of the first medical college in Geneva deterred some, notably Dr. David Hudson. When Dr. Hudson learned the trustees planned to vote on the proposal at a special meeting which he was unable to attend, he wrote a detailed paper on why the proposal should be denied.

Of the eight points that he proposed, the most prominent was his fear of losing state support. Dr. Hudson admitted the recent court case granted Geneva College “a latent power authorizing the Trustees to erect a medical department, appoint professors, and grant diplomas to medical students” in Geneva, but he firmly believed that the creation of medical schools was a state’s right and that the state government should initiate the creation of medical schools, not private institutions like Geneva College.

The College had just finished fighting the state in court only four years prior to the vote and Dr. Hudson feared that founding a medical department would be perceived as Geneva College stepping over the state legislation’s right to establish and operate medical schools. He argued that the relation forged with the Rutgers Medical College, was “a great error” and cost Geneva College “one half of the good character… and more than one half of the good will, friendship, and respect of the [state] government.” He pointed out that the young Geneva College relied on state subsidies to remain financially viable and if that support faltered, so would the college.

Dr. Hudson resistence to the establishment of a medical institution.jpg

An excerpt from Dr. David Hudson's letter of protest to the founding of the Medical Institution of Geneva College, 1834.

The Establishment of Geneva Medical College
Resistance to the Medical College Proposal