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William H. Welch Professorship in the History of Medicine

School of Medicine

Established in 1934 by numerous donors in honor of William H. Welch

WelchWilliamWILLIAM H. WELCH, appointed by President Daniel Coit Gilman in 1884, was the first full-time member of the medical faculty. Along with John Shaw Billings, Dr. Welch assembled the nucleus of the faculty and was a major architect of the new hospital’s structure and practice. For 37 years, Dr. Welch chaired the advisory board of the medical faculty. Founder of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Dr. Welch was instrumental in bringing a scientific approach into medicine in the United States, creating at Hopkins a model that endures today. Dr. Welch developed Hopkins’ first pathological laboratory and served as first pathologist-in-chief and first professor of pathology. He was also the first dean of the medical faculty, founder and first director of the School of Hygiene and Public Health, planner for the library that bears his name at the School of Medicine, and founder and first director of the Institute of the History of Medicine, about which he said, “I have a high conception of what a department of the history of medicine could be made–not merely a cultural centre, important as that is, but a real adjuvant of the department of scientific medicine.” Throughout his long tenure, Dr. Welch played a pivotal role in integrating what are today known as the Johns Hopkins medical institutions–the hospital and the schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing. He died in 1934 at the age of 84.

Held by Jeremy Greene

Dr. JEREMY GREENE is a professor of the history of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and chair of the Department of History. His area of clinical expertise includes internal medicine. Dr. Greene is the William H. Welch Professor in the History of Medicine, a position most recently held by Randall M. Packard, a world-renown expert in the study of international health and non-Western medicine.

Dr. Greene’s research interests include the history of therapeutics, especially pharmaceuticals. He also practices internal medicine at the East Baltimore Medical Center with admitting privileges to the Johns Hopkins University Hospital.

Dr. Greene earned his MD and PhD from Harvard University and he completed his residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. He serves on the Johns Hopkins University Press Faculty Editorial Board. His book Prescribing by Numbers was recognized with a Rachel Carson Prize in 2009.