Dr. Benjamin Rush advocated for veterinary medical education and called for medical care to be extended to animals. As a physician, he possessed both knowledge and interest in extending medical care to animals. In 1807, Rush gave a lecture, titled "On the Duty and Advantages of Studying the Diseases of Domestic Animals", at the University of Pennsylvania medical school that inspired the founding of its School of Veterinary Medicine; Penn Vet was founded in 1884 and was the first veterinary school to grow out of a medical school.
You can read Rush's speech below in full, with annotations that highlight how Penn Vet answers Rush's pleas for the more humane and compassionate care of animals. The School of Veterinary Medicine continues to honor its roots and has spearheaded several initiatives to promote the health and wellbeing of animals. You can learn more about the origin of Penn Vet, including Rush's contributions to the OneHealth Initiative and the School's emphasis on research, through the Veterinary Libraries' Online Exhibit. Learn more about the history of Penn Vet by visiting the Vet School's Our History and Penn Vet History Resources Guide.