|the Egyptian Building|
In 1837, Dr. Augustus Warner, a surgeon at University of Virginia and graduate of the University of Maryland, became disillusioned with the clinical material available and felt that Richmond would provide a much broader patient base, so he started and became Dean of what was to become the Medical College of Virginia (VCU). Most interestingly, Dr. Warner was said to have left the University of Virginia’s medical school because he didn't agree with Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy that professors shouldn’t corrupt their teaching by making money caring for patients.
I guess I can imagine that physicians enrolling patients in RCTs might have conflicts between science and their patients (hence blinding and perhaps random assignment). It still seems so foreign to me that this would be a financial conflict. Wait, I guess the current medical system, where physicians are paid more if they do more procedures, leads to the conflicts that Mr. Jefferson was worrying about. I wonder why Jefferson wasn't quoted during the recent health care reform debates?
Peter Orszag's NY Times column
VCU Surgical Department History
VCU Health Sciences page