shippen, William

Shippen, William (1736-1808) Doctor: Shippen was born in Philadelphia, the son of a physician, and attended college at what is now Princeton. After studying medicine with his father and in Britain, he began his medical practice in 1762. Shippen gave the first series of lectures on anatomy ever delivered in this country. He continued this school of anatomy until 1765, when he was appointed professor of anatomy and surgery in the first medical school established in what would become the United States - the new medical school of the College of Philadelphia, which Shippen helped found. In 1791, Shippen was elected professor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania. Shippen was appointed chief physician of the Flying camp in 1776 and, in 1777, he presented a plan to Congress to organize a hospital department, which was adopted. He was unanimously elected "Director-General of all the Military Hospitals for the Armies of the United States." Shippen was an improper administration of the office, and arraigned before a military court, which led him to resign in 1781, although the investigation did not deal with any matters reflecting on his integrity. Shippen was a member of the American philosophical Society for over forty years, and was widely respected in the medical world for his skill and eloquence as a teacher.