This chapter details the establishment of Cornell University's medical department. Within a few years of Cornell's founding in 1865, the university started offering a four-year course in natural history leading to a Bachelor of Science degree. The program was considered good preparation for students contemplating a career in medicine, but there were no large hospitals that were suitable for training medical students. In 1885, Charles Adams became Cornell's second president and attempted to expand the university by creating a medical school, although his efforts were frustrated after failing to pitch the idea to Cornell's board of trustees. Ultimately, in 1898, a proposal to create a new medical school that would maintain both high academic standards and financial stability presented itself, backed by Colonel Oliver H. Payne along with Dr. Lewis Stimson and Dr. Alfred L. Loomis.
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