Phi Rho Sigma (ΦΡΣ) was founded at the Northwestern Medical School then the Chicago Medical College, October 31, 1890, by Milbank Johnson assisted by T. J. Robeson, H. H. Forline and J. A. Poling.
The chapter roll is as follows :
Active chapters 27, inactive 1. Membership 4,498. The Nebraska and Michigan chapters own houses. Total valuation, $38,000.
Many of the chapters have been formed from prior existing organizations. Gamma from the "Ancient Order of Ananias," Epsilon from ΜΚΦ founded in 1890, Eta from ΤΣ, Iota from ΛΠ, Lambda from A n T, Mu from ΔΣ, Omicron from ΦΑΦ, Rho from ΤΒΑ, Chi from ΑΚΦ, and the Buffalo chapter from the parent and sole surviving chapter of ΑΟΔ the name of which has been retained as a chapter name. The Yale chapter was formed from a local society called the Skull and Sceptre which had been founded in 1894. It was allowed to retain its name as a chapter designation although its name is not in harmony with the fraternity's system of chapter nomenclature. The Hamline Medical College where the Theta chapter was located united with the Medical department of the University of Minnesota when the Tau chapter was located and the two chapters united under the name of Theta Tau. In 1902 the Omaha Medical College where Iota is located became the medical department of the University of Nebraska, and as part of the instruction was carried on at Lincoln and part at Omaha, the chapter divided into two parts Iota-Alpha at Lincoln and Iota-Beta at Omaha. All of the medical course is now given at the State University and chapter is now consolidated. The Iota chapter publishes a small magazine called the Iota. The Ohio State chapter was formerly a chapter of ΦΔ. The Upsilon was originally at the University College of Medicine which was merged into the Medical College of Virginia. Omicron was originally at the Wisconsin College of Physicians and Surgeons which was merged into Marquette University.
Only one chapter is inactive namely, that at Johns Hopkins. Its charter was withdrawn in 1904.
The Alpha chapter granted charters to Β and Γ chapters and was the head of the fraternity until early in 1896, when three members from each of the then existing chapters were appointed to take charge of the affairs of the general fraternity. These nine representatives were elected yearly and the body was known as the grand chapter. They elected their own officers and had full power to grant charters, enact laws, and perform other duties devolving upon them. By this body charters were granted to Δ, Ε and Ζ. A revised constitution was adopted March 20, 1899, which specifies that the grand chapter shall consist of two delegates from each chapter, and that it shall hold its meetings biennially. In accordance with this act the first general convention was called to Chicago, July 3d, 4th and 5th, 1899. From this meeting dates in reality the national scope of the fraternity. In the interim between conventions the executive power of the fraternity is vested in a Grand Council composed of seven members who all reside in the same vicinity.
Conventions have been held As of 1920[update] biennially.
The fraternity issues a periodical called the Phi Rho Sigma Journal. Its publication was begun in 1901. After some little irregularity in issue it became a quarterly in 1910. As of 1920[update] it is published twice a year. In 1912 a history and directory edited by Dr. D. E. W. Wenstrand of Milwaukee was published. This is a large octavo volume with many illustrations. The badge of the fraternity was originally a gold shield with the letters Φ, Ρ and Σ in black enamel, surrounding a raised pair of clasped hands in gold over an open book in gold. The Φ was in the upper left hand corner, the Ρ in the upper right hand corner, and the Σ below at the apex of the shield. As of 1920[update] the official badge consists of a gold monogram outline of the letters Φ, Ρ and Σ, the Φ being placed on a separate plane above the other two letters and its face set with pearls. The change was made in 1895. The colors of the fraternity are scarlet and gold.