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Rush, Benjamin (1745–1813)

Acknowledged as a father of modern psychiatry as well a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Rush modeled a social activist's tireless approach to public health issues in early American society, while becoming the most famous physician and medical educator of his generation. As a boy in Byberry Township outside Philadelphia, Rush was a student at West Nottingham Academy (now the oldest boarding school in the country) under Reverend Samuel Finley, who subsequently became the president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Although initially intent on becoming a lawyer, Rush switched to medicine. He attended medical school in England, graduating from the medical department of the University of Edinburgh in 1768. During his time abroad, Rush attended medical lectures in Paris, ...

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