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Lectures on Insanity


Although Dr. Smith's appointment as professor of "psychiatry" was for slightly less than one year, records demonstrate that he delivered his "lectures on insanity" for at least a six-year period, and most likely longer. Annual catalog announcements for Starling Medical College continued to list Dr. Smith's lectures from 1847 through 1853. After this date there is a gap in available bulletins until 1868 when William L. Peck, M.D., was appointed Professor of Insanity and Nervous Diseases (7).

Dr. Smith's lectures must have represented a comprehensive approach to the description, treatment and causes of mental illness. The 1847 Announcement of Courses for the Willoughby Medical College of Columbus stated the following: "Professor Smith will give a series of lectures on the nature and treatment of insanity, and those diseases leading to it, for which his connection for several years with one of the best hospitals peculiarly qualifies him" (35, pp. 78-79). It is significant that Dr. Smith's 1847 lectures were part of the required curriculum, while several other subjects were offered in a preliminary, non-required format (17).

Dr. Smith's continuing interest in PsYchiatry was demonstrated by his involvement with the Columbus Asylum for the Insane as a trustee from 1856 until his death in 1874, and by an appointment in 1870 to a special committee of the Ohio State Medical Association to examine the plea of insanity in cases of homicide (38).
 

* Taken from Pinta, E.R. (1994). A History of Psychiatry at The Ohio State University, 1847-1993, pp. 3-12