The History Behind Bellevue, America's Oldest and Public Hospital

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A scene in the infants’ ward of Bellevue Hospital in New York May 8, 1942 showing little patients surrounded by non-fragmentary cubicles.

Founded in 1736, Bellevue is the nation’s oldest public hospital. David Oshinsky offers a detailed history in his new book Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital. He details how the hospital treated tens of thousands of Civil War soldiers, launched the first civilian ambulance corps and the first nursing school for women and pioneered medical photography and psychiatric treatment.