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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

Old hospital,   pp. 183-186

Page 183

Fig. 1. Wisconsin General Hospital,
c. 1925. [series 9/4 Wisconsin Gen-
eral Hospital, jf-48]
The Wisconsin General Hospital was erected in 1924 to proide a clinical program
for the University medical school, and to care for indigent state residents. In 1949
additions and expansions more than doubled the size of the hospital. When even this
expansion proved too small, the hospital and clinics was relocated to a new site on
the west end of campus, and the old hospital was remodelled in 1980for use by
medical sciences.
D rs. Charles Bardeen and Joseph Evans believed strongly that their two-year medical program
founded in 1907, (but restricted to two years) at the University of Wisconsin, should be
allowed to expand into a full four-year program with clinical training. Unfortunately there
were powerful people in the state who disagreed. These forces were mainly established medical men
and existing medical schools and the politicians who represented them. This opposition had made the
two-year program difficult to establish, and now made the four-year course even more contentious.
The university had argued that they would never consider developing a clinical (i.e. four-year) pro-
gram without a quality hospital under its own control.
Dean Bardeen informed the regents in a report in 1918 that the "attic medical school" (so
called because it was housed in attics of several buildings scattered around the university) had reached
a critical stage. It had 100 students in the second year and 150 in the first.
Bardeen argued that Wisconsin could restrict enrollment, abandon the medical school, or
expand it into a full four year course. After discussing these three approaches, Bardeen voted for the
third approach, saying that Wisconsin was losing too many medical men who fail to return after being
educated elsewhere, that the state was behind her neighbors most of whom had a full medical school
at their universities, and that a hospital facility would be of direct benefit to the citizens of the state by
healing patients who might otherwise "be a lifelong inmate of a charitable institution. No expenditure

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