Thomas Story Kirkbride

Thomas Story Kirkbride

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Thomas Story Kirkbride

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This article is about the American Physician Thomas Story Kirkbride. For the British writer, see Thomas Story.
'Thomas Story Kirkbride (July 31, 1809 - December 16, 1883) was a physician, advocate for the mentally ill, and founder of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane (AMSAII), a precursor to the American Psychiatric Association.

Early career

Born into a Quaker family in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, Kirkbride began a study of medicine in 1831 under Dr. Nicholas Belleville, of Trenton, New Jersey when he was eighteen. After receiving a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1832, Kirkbride originally sought to become a surgeon, and had his own practice from 1835 to 1840.


In 1840 Kirkbride was asked to become superintendent of the newly established Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane. He accepted for largely practical reasons, as his training and experience interning at Friends' Asylum and at Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Hospital provided him with the necessary background for the position. As Superintendent he became one of the most...
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