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Chicago Medical School

The Chicago Medical School is the medical school of the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Founded in 1912, the Chicago Medical School has a nearly 100 year history of a broadly-based socially constructive admission process relatively unlike that of other medical colleges. CMS was originally founded as a night school. Under the leadership of Dean John J. Sheinin CMS achieved full American Medical Association approval.

The non-profit Chicago Medical School operated from the beginning on the principle that admission should be based on merit alone. In particular, "Chicago Med" admitted women and minority applicants decades earlier than most professionals schools. As the school's 1912-13 bulletin states, "[I]t is the firm belief of the Faculty of this school that there are deserving men and women, who, if given a second opportunity, will soon 'catch up' with and even surpass those students who have had earlier opportunities and advantages."  It delivered quality medical education to a wide range of students, by now numbering in the tens of thousands.

In 1935, Dr. John J. Sheinin became Dean and decided that the school must be saved. Prior to Dr. Sheinin, and due to CMS's lack of affiliation with a hospital the school had been struggling with financial problems. To help keep the school open in the 1940s, a wealthy retired Chicago businessman named Lester North Selig issued a challenge to his contemporaries in Chicago's business world: Did they or did they not support a medical school where admission was based on merit alone? By 1948, Dr. Sheinin had won accreditation for the school by consistently strengthening its curriculum along with its financial and community support.

Also under Dr. Sheinin the American Plan was developed. This policy stuck to the original policy of admission solely based on merit. Eleanor Roosevelt praised the plan in her nationally syndicated "My Day column:

The American Plan...is simply a plan of nondiscrimination. Only two considerations govern the admission rules of [Chicago Medical School]- character and scholarship merit. One wishes that more schools and colleges and universities throughout the county would have the courage to set their standards high, but to eliminate two questions that all too often one finds on a request for admission: What is your race and what is your religion? It seems to me that these questions have no bearing on one's right to an education in whatever field of learning one has chosen to follow. The should have no bearing, either, on one's success in whatever profession that is prepared for.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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