Hardcover edition of the history of UMass Medical School hits the shelves

‘Beating the Odds’ by Ellen More recounts legacy of integrating primary care training and biomedical research

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

November 02, 2017
  The cover of Beating the Odds: The University of Massachusetts Medical School, A History 1962-2012, by Ellen More, PhD
 

Ellen More conducted in-depth research to complete the comprehensive history, including 134 oral history interviews.

The history of UMass Medical School has been published in an expanded hardcover edition. Beating the Odds: The University of Massachusetts Medical School, A History 1962-2012 is now available from the publisher and at Amazon.com.

Author Ellen More, PhD, professor emeritus of psychiatry, is a medical historian specializing in the history of the American medical profession, women physicians and medical education. Dr. More is also the founder of the Office of Medical History and Archives at the Lamar Soutter Library, which in 2014 created an illustrated historical timeline of the medical school.

More conducted in-depth research to complete the comprehensive history, including 134 oral history interviews.

“For an intimate, internal understanding of the school’s development, I was fortunate to have access to some of the original leaders of the school; except for Lamar Soutter, who died in 1996, every one of the current and previous chancellors and deans agreed to be interviewed,” said More. “Several of them donated some of their papers, and members of the school’s first class also were extremely generous with their time and personal records.”

The print edition of the book reflects updates More has made since its original online release in 2012, including a new title and cover and additional information about the school’s economic impact on the greater Worcester community.

“In the end, I understood that my initial sense of the school was a true reading: UMass Medical School has overcome enormous obstacles to become what its first leaders always insisted it must be, more than just a ‘community’ medical school,” said More. “Unlike many of its medical school cohort from the 1960s and 70s, it has become an academic health science center with an outstanding reputation for both primary care education and biomedical research. In this, it truly defied the odds.”

Chancellor Michael F. Collins penned the book’s foreword.

“Although the commonwealth did not have a public medical school of its own for most of the 20th century, UMass Medical School, once created, very quickly fulfilled a need and a promise and, today, shines brightly as the crown jewel of the University of Massachusetts system,” Chancellor Collins wrote. “As Ellen More’s superbly researched and written history of UMass Medical School shows . . . ours was, and continues to be, a grand experiment shaped by a laudable vision. Through the countless contributions of so many who have come before us, UMass Medical School has developed into a true Massachusetts success story.”

More will give a keynote presentation about the history of UMass Medical School at the annual meeting of the Worcester Historical Museum on Monday, Nov. 13, at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, with copies of Beating the Odds available for purchase and signing.

Related stories on UMassMedNow:
History of UMass Medical School published online
Historical timeline puts UMMS growth, achievements in focus

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