The first hospital, the first medical school, the first medical society, and abundant Civil War casualties, all combined to establish the most important medical center in the country. It's still the second largest industry in the city.
Philadelphia dominated the medical profession so long that it's hard to distinguish between local traditions and national ones. The distinctive feature is that in Philadelphia you must be a real doctor before you become a mere specialist.
Some Philadelphia physicians are contributors to current national debates on the financing of medical care.
Insurance in Philadelphia
Early Philadelphia took a lead in insurance innovation. Some ideas, like life insurance, flourished. Others have faded.
With a long history of welcoming and assisting the poor, Philadelphia has always risked swamping the lifeboat by attracting more of them than it can handle.
In no particular order, here are the author's own favorites.
"The past is never dead. It's not even past." -- William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
My own personal short list; eight decades in retrospect.
Originally published: Monday, June 18, 2007; most-recently modified: Sunday, July 21, 2019