Wilburt Cornell Davison

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Item Description

  • Davison was pediatrician, chair of pediatrics (1930-1954), and first dean of Duke University School of Medicine (1927-1960). In 1926, Duke University president William Preston Few recruited Davison away from Johns Hopkins University. Davison's charge was to plan organize, build, and direct the new Duke University School of Medicine and Medical Center. Davison brought with him a new approach to health care and health education to Duke University; he founded the medical school and medical center with young, unproven faculty and flexible educational policies. Being a generalist, Davison believed in nurturing a small department of versatile pediatricians, sending them into the community to practice, and using them to teach the medical students. Davison was so effective in both education and clinical management that within five years of its founding, Duke University was considered to be in the top ten percent of medical centers in the United States. One of Davison's lasting marks on the process of health care treatment would be the concept of prepayment for services. As a result of his efforts, two of the earliest Blue Cross plans in the nation were established in North Carolina: one in 1932 and one in 1935.
Date created
  • per00020
Resource type
Holding entity
Archival collection
  • Photograph & Negative Collection
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