Duke Medicine Timeline

- Duke University Hospital opens

Duke Hospital opens for patients on July 21, 1930.

- Specialized classes begin

Classes began in Hospital Administration, dietetics, and medical technology on 15 August.

- Medical classes begin

The eighteen third year and fifty-two first year medical students began classes on 1 October.

- Dedication ceremony

Dedication ceremony for Duke Medical School and Hospital on 20 April.

- Duke’s Private Diagnostic Clinic opens

Duke’s Private Diagnostic Clinic opens, an independent, for-profit group practice affiliated with Duke Hospital and Duke University (not part of current health system) were organized September 15.

- Nursing classes begin

The Duke School of Nursing's first class of 24 undergraduate students begin classes January 2.

- Nursing student dorm

Baker House, named for Bessie Baker, first Dean of Nursing at Duke Hospital, opened.

- Postgraduate symposium offered

The first Duke Medical Postgraduate Symposium is offered to physicians in the southeast.

- Duke ranks in top 25%

The Association of American Medical Colleges ranks Duke among the top 25 percent of medical schools in the country-less than five years after it opened.

- Surgical use of ultraviolet lamps

Duke surgeons led by Dr. J. Deryl Hart pioneer the use of ultraviolet lamps in operating rooms to eliminate infectious organisms that cause post-operative Staph infections. This procedure dramatically reduces the number of infections and related deaths.

- Equine encephalomyelitis vaccine

Dr. Joseph Beard developed a vaccine against equine encephalomyelitis.

- Brain tumor program established

Duke establishes the nation's first brain tumor program, launching what will become one of the world's foremost cancer programs.

- Dietary break-through

Continuing through the 1940s and 1950s, Dr. Walter Kempner's research, using a rice-based diet and daily laboratory testing, demonstrates that degenerative processes attacking the kidney, heart, brain and retina can be arrested by dietary changes. These dramatic findings draw patients to Duke from across the nation.