The College of Physicians and Surgeons was established by a charter granted by the New York State Board of Regents to the Medical Society of the County of New York on March 12, 1807. In 1811, a new charter effectively ended control of P&S by the Medical Society and vested governance in a newly created Board of Trustees.
In 1814, students and faculty of the moribund Columbia College Medical Faculty (founded 1767) were merged into P&S. A dispute over the role of the faculty on the Board of Trustees led in 1826 to the establishment of a Board dominated by laymen and to the subsequent resignation of most of College’s faculty. Although crippled, P&S survived and by the 1830s was again thriving.
In 1860, the College amicably severed its relationship with the Regents and forged a nominal affiliation with Columbia College. By terms of the agreement, P&S issued its diplomas as “the Medical Department of Columbia College.” The President of Columbia sat on the Board of Trustees and, with the President of P&S, jointly presided over commencements. However, P&S gave up none of its administrative or financial independence. It was not until 1891 that P&S fully merged into Columbia, becoming its “Faculty of Medicine,” although retaining its original name.
For more information, please see John Call Dalton’s History of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, 1888.