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This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Neurosurgery, Volume 85, Issue 1, July 2019, Pages E149-E157.

The published version is available at Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2019.


The origins of the Department of Neurosurgery at Albany Medical College closely parallel the development of early America and the establishment of modern health care.The tales of Washington Irving, the works of the Hudson River School of painters, and summers in the Catskill Mountains or Adirondacks are the stories that color the history of Upstate New York (Figure1). As a social, industrial, and political hub of the American colonies, New England’s need for centers providing structured medicine led to the creation of Albany Medical College in1839, one of the earliest such institutions in the young nation.1 Rapid progress in nearly every other realm of life required medical advancements as well, prompting subspecialization and the development of neurosurgery in the region.

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