Definition of Medical Repository

Reviewed on 6/3/2021

Medical Repository: The first medical magazine and the first scientific journal published in the United States.

The Medical Repository was founded in 1797 in New York and was published quarterly until 1824. T & J Swords in New York City printed it for the Faculty of Physicians at Columbia College (now Columbia University).

The Medical Repository aimed to serve as a "depository of facts and reasonings relative to Natural History, Agriculture and Medicine."

According to Kahn and Kahn, the Medical Repository was "the first serious attempt in this country to present the relation between science and practice in a serial format that allowed response and communication." The journal "introduced new theory, such as the chemistry of Lavoisier (in France) and Priestly (in England) as it related to medicine...." It was "a publication in which physicians and others could find the latest thoughts on subjects as diverse as manure, meteorology, and medical practice...." Source: Kahn RJ, Kahn, PG: New Engl J Med 1997; 337: 1926- 1930.


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