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Palmer Futcher papers


Held at: Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia [Contact Us]19 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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Palmer Howard Futcher (1910-2004) graduated from Harvard College and in 1936 earned a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University. After his residency there he joined a research team at the Rockefeller Institute, resigning soon after Pearl Harbor to join the Navy in 1942. At Pensacola he studied survival at sea, and met and married Mary Viola Rightor. After discharge from the Navy in 1946, he taught medicine at Washington University and became certified in internal medicine in 1947, before returning to Johns Hopkins in 1948. For 19 years he was variously director of the outpatient service, director of the university's student health service, and an assistant dean. In 1967 Futcher moved to Philadelphia to become the Executive Secretary of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). Following retirement from ABIM in 1975 he attended at a University of Pennsylvania diabetes clinic, and volunteered successfully for recertification in internal medicine in 1977. An active member of both the World Federalist Association and Physicians for Social Responsibility, he advocated world peace through law and negotiation.

The Palmer Futcher papers contain files concerning the College of Physicians of Philadelphia Library Committee (1975-1984), including correspondence, memoranda, reports, and printed material (7 folders). Additional College of Physicians of Philadelphia materials include: memoranda, correspondence, and reports related to the Section of Medical History and the Wood Institute Advisory Committee (up to 1994). There are files from Futcher's time as assistant dean at Johns Hopkins, and some files from his time as Executive Secretary of the American Board of Internal Medicine. A portion of the collection is made of subject files (1939-1980s) on medical topics including diseases, disciplines, health care systems, and medical education, and non-medical topics such as economics, education, and philosophy. The subject files contain such formats as magazine and newspaper clippings, reprints of scientific articles, reports, medical case files, photographs, transparencies, bibliographies, newsletters, memoranda and correspondence. There are drafts of articles and presentations by Futcher as well.

Provenance: Gift of Palmer Futcher.

Year acquired: 1990, 1994

Accession number: 1990-092-01 and 1990-091-01

Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
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This collection-level EAD record is a product of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) Consortial Survey Initiative, which was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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The collection is open for research.

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