200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 30: “AMA Founded at the Academy of Natural Sciences ”

« From River Giants to the Toothpick Fish

Logan Square Way Back When »

illustration of the Academy's building in 1840
The Academy of Natural Sciences was located at Broad and Samson streets in Philadelphia when the American Medical Association was founded. Ewell Sale Stewart Library & Archives Coll. 49.

AMA Founded at the Academy of Natural Sciences

In the spring of 1847, hundreds of delegates from twenty-eight states gathered at the Academy of Natural Sciences to found the American Medical Association (AMA). Dr. Nathan S. Davis, whose 1845 resolution to the New York Medical Association called for a national medical convention, led the group. Attendees not only founded the largest association of medical doctors and students in the country, but also they accomplished many other victories for modern medicine—all at the Academy! Delegates adopted the first code of medical ethics and established the first nationwide standards for preliminary medical education and the MD degree. They established further measures to fulfill the association's aspirations to advance science, create standards for medical education, develop a program of medical ethics, and improve public health.

History is still in the making at the Academy. Mark your calendars for Bicentennial Weekend, March 24–25,  2012, and be the first to see our major exhibit, The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery. This spectacular exhibit celebrates the Academy's groundbreaking discoveries of the past and present and provides a glimpse into our future as of one of the world's greatest natural history museums.

Plan your visit, check out our new exhibits, and find out about upcoming activities.
Discover the past and explore the future of the natural sciences in our online exhibits.
Make a difference, browse our programs, and get involved with the natural world.