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Featured Article Of The Week

Ann Arbor State Psychopathic Hospital


In the late 1890s, U-M Professor of Nervous Diseases and Electrotherapeutics William J. Herdman (M.D. 1875) set the wheels in motion to build, at the University, a psychopathic hospital for the care and study of mental illness. In 1901 the Michigan state legislature allocated the funding for the facility, and in 1906 the State Psychopathic Hospital opened its doors. The hospital was among the first of its kind in the nation — one intended to provide diagnosis and research on mental diseases rather than custodial care. It contained state-of-the-art research equipment, including a laboratory in which psychiatrists trained in pathological examination studied brain tissue sent from hospitals all over Michigan.

Albert M. Barrett, M.D., the hospital’s first director, oversaw both psychiatry and neurology within what was originally called the Department of Nervous and Mental Diseases until 1920, then continued as chair of the newly formed Department of Psychiatry until his death in 1936. Click here for more...