Thomas Bond, a native of Philadelphia, was a founder of Pennsylvania
Hospital. As did all colonists who wanted to be physicians, Dr.
Bond traveled to Europe to receive his medical education. While
studying in England in 1749, he was greatly impressed with British
hospitals. To improve the quality of patient care and to advance
the city's medical profession, Dr. Bond became committed to building
a hospital in Philadelphia.
The "hospital movement" had begun in England with
the dual purpose of caring for the sick and in hopes of removing
the ailing from charity rolls (thereby reducing or removing the
financial burden of their care from the community). In turn,
the hospital patients served as clinical subjects for scientifically
oriented physicians. For the same humanitarian, financial and
scientific reasons, the hospital movement spread to the American
Dr. Bond initially had difficulty selling Philadelphians on
the idea of a small provincial hospital for sick, injured and
lunatic patients. He was frequently asked: "Have you consulted
Franklin on this business? And what does he think of it?" Dr.
Bond did indeed consult Benjamin Franklin, and the collaboration
of the two friends resulted in the founding of Pennsylvania Hospital
Dr. Bond went on to serve American medicine throughout his lifetime.
He was a member of the first medical staff at Pennsylvania Hospital,
volunteering his professional services to the hospital from 1751
until his death in 1784. He also contributed to the hospital's
finances and served on its first Board of Managers. A founder
and trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Bond shared
his skill and experience by delivering clinical lectures to students
at Pennsylvania Hospital. These early lectures earned him the
title "Father of Clinical Medicine." At the outbreak
of the Revolutionary War, the sixty-year old doctor and his son
rendered service by helping to organize the medical department
of the American Army. Dr. Bond was also an original member and
an officer of the American Philosophical Society.
On the tombstone at Christ Church in Philadelphia is the following: "In
Memory of Thomas Bond, MD who practiced Physic and Surgery
with signal reputation and success nearly half a Century lamented
and beloved by many, respected and esteemed by all, and adorned
by literary honors sustained by him with dignity."
to 1751 - 1800