Benjamin Rush (December 24, 1745 - April 19, 1813) was an American Founder. He lived in Pennsylvania and was a physician, writer, and educator. He attended the Continental Congress and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Dr. Rush is best known today for his singular role in restoring the friendship between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. He successfully encouraged Adams to write to Jefferson, thereby facilitating their extraordinary correspondence across many years.
He received a B.A. from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), and then studied medicine in Philadelphia under Dr. John Redman. At Dr. Redman's encouragement, Rush attended the University of Edinburgh, where he received his medical degree. Returning to Philadelphia in 1769, he opened a practice and then became a Professor of Chemistry at what is now the University of Pennsylvania. In 1776, he signed the Declaration of Independence as a member of the Continental Congress. The following year, he became the Surgeon General for the Middle Department of the Continental Army. In 1783, he was appointed to the staff of the Pennsylvania Hospital, where he worked until his death in 1813.
In establishing a society for medical students and doctors that is committed to promoting the liberty of the physician-patient relationship, it seemed appropriate to name the society after Benjamin Rush: medical doctor and American Founder.