David Wendel Yandell was the most distinguished physician of a family noted for its contributions to the medical profession over a period of generations. Like his father before him, Yandell taught for many years at the Medical Department of the University of Louisville.
His years as a Confederate surgeon impressed upon him the horrifying consequences of the inadequate preparation of most physicians. Concerned especially about the need for practical training, Yandell waged a twenty-year campaign to expand clinic facilities and introduce intern programs at his own school and across the nation. He also fought for higher professional standards on a national level as president and active member of the American Medical Association and other organizations.
David Wendel Yandell is an illuminating and well-rounded picture of the strengths and weaknesses of nineteenth-century medicine and of the practitioner, teacher, and leader who shaped the modern medical profession in Kentucky and the nation.