Family Practice: The Warrens of Harvard Medical School

A Family Practice

The history of medicine in Boston and, in particular, at Harvard Medical School is often a sort of family chronicle. The same famous names—Putnam, Shattuck, Bowditch, Storer, Cheever, Wyman—appear over the years as members of new generations assume roles in the profession of their parents and grandparents.

But there is one Boston family—the Warrens—whose contributions range from the foundation and first lectures of Harvard Medical School and the construction of its campus to the development of innovative surgical techniques and the performance of one of the most famous operations in American medical history. The research, writing, teaching, and medical and surgical labors of the five celebrated Doctors Warren have left an indelible mark on the development of Harvard Medical School and indeed shaped the very course of medicine and medical education in this country over the past two hundred years. This fall, as the Countway Library of Medicine assumes responsibility for the exhibits, specimens, and instruments of the Warren Museum, a display of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, and artifacts from the collections of Harvard Medical School and the Boston Medical Library has been mounted at the Countway Library as a tribute to the members of this illustrious family and their tradition—in every sense, a family practice—of contributions to American medicine.


A Family Practice is an exhibit curated by Jack Eckert for the Center for the History of Medicine. The online exhibit was created in OnView by Andra Langoussis in December 2013.