Phipps History

Matthew E. Peters, M.D., Margaret S. Chisolm, M.D.


  • "Phipps history" is the name given to the complete psychiatric history obtained by physicians trained at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
  • The name arises from Henry Phipps, a Philadelphia steel tycoon and benefactor to the Johns Hopkins Hospital[1]:
    • Phipps’s original association with the Johns Hopkins Hospital was in establishing the Phipps Tuberculosis Dispensary in 1905.
    • When visiting Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1908, Phipps asked William Welch, the Dean of the School of Medicine at that time, if any other projects needed funding. Welch recommended funding for a clinic and department focused on the growing field of psychiatry.
    • Phipps donated $1.5 million to this cause, and this allowed the recruitment of Adolf Meyer as the psychiatrist-in-chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital and the building of the Phipps Psychiatric Clinic.
  • A thorough Phipps history allows a deep understanding of a patient’s life and facilitates a detailed formulation using the Perspectives of Psychiatry approach.

There's more to see -- the rest of this topic is available only to subscribers.

Last updated: March 7, 2022