"Facts from the Past" are weekly E-mails dedicated to sharing the historical knowledge of Albany Medical College. To subscribe, email Jessica Watson, M.S.I.S., Archivist, at WatsonJ1@amc.edu


   Featured Fact


Nishan A. Pashayan, M.D.


Dr. Pashayan was Schenectady’s first practicing psychiatrist. Born in Armenia in 1872, he attended Central Turkey College at Aintab in 1889. Pashayan was forced to flee from his native country to America in 1894 to avoid the violence and persecution of the Armenians by the Ottomans. He began his medical studies at Albany Medical College in 1895, studying internal medicine, general pathology and neurology. After his graduation in 1901, Pashayan became involved with psychiatry, at the time referred to as “mental hygiene” and worked in several different asylums. Pashayan left his work with the New York State psychiatric hospital network in 1907 and opened his first psychiatric office in Schenectady following his marriage to Charlotte Hume. During his time in Schenectady, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Ellis Hospital Medical Board and President of the Schenectady County Medical Society.




  "Facts from the Past" Samples


Albany Medical College Medical Fraternities

In 1911, Albany Medical College students had many choices in which to spend their leisure time. One major activity available to them was medical fraternities. Fraternities were active at AMC with four Fraternities to choose from. They were: Phi Sigma Kappa; Beta Chapter, Nu Sigma Nu; Omicron Chapter, Omega Upsilon Phi; Gamma Chapter, and Phi Delta; Alpha Gamma Chapter. The fraternities were very popular and boasted many members, as well as each having their own fraternity house. Participation in the fraternities at AMC started to decline during WWI and WWII and by 1947 only one fraternity remained – Nu Sigma Nu. By 1963, the fraternity system was no longer associated with Albany Medical College. It is unclear why the reason for the demise of the fraternity system at AMC.  A possible contributing factor, besides the impact of the two world wars, may have been a lack of funding.

(Photo: Nu Sigma Nu, 1911)



Dorothy B. Chamberlin, M.D.

A 1940 graduate of Albany Medical College, Dorothy B. Chamberlin was born in 1915 in Great Barrington, MA. Following the receipt of her medical degree, a job opportunity took her to Illinois where she took a position as instructor in Physiology and Health Education at Southern Illinois Normal University in Carbondale. During WWII she served as a Lieutenant in the medical corps of the U.S. Naval Reserve also known as WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). She trained at the U.S. Naval Medical School in Bethesda, MD before being stationed at Camp LeJeune, NC as a dispensary medical officer. Service in the WAVES as a medical officer took her to the U.S. Navy Personnel Separation Center in NYC and the U.S. Naval Hospital in Brooklyn. Following her discharge in 1946 she completed a residency in internal medicine at New York Infirmary in NYC followed by a position as Associate Physician at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island.  Further educational and career opportunities included attending the School of Public Health at Harvard University and being appointed Assistant District Health Officer in Middletown, NY.




Li Sribyatta, M.D.

One of the first Asian graduates of Albany Medical College, Dr. Li Sribyatta returned to his home country of Thailand shortly after graduating in 1923. Like many Albany Medical College graduates, Dr. Sribyatta excelled in his career. In Thailand, Dr. Sribyatta became the Director General of the Department of Medical Sciences in the Ministry of Public Health, which had oversight into the preparation and testing of the many different drugs and vaccines used in Thailand. Additionally, he also taught physiology and served as the head of the department of physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology at Chulalokorn University inThailand. While practicing medicine in Thailand, Dr. Sribyatta was given a title of honor and was known as Dr. Luang Lipidharm Sribyatta in Thailand. The title of “Luang” was given by the King of Thailand and can be compared to the title of “Lord” in Great Britain.

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