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Beaumont, William (21 November 1785–25 April 1853), physician and physiologist, was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Beaumont and Lucretia Abel, farmers. Little is known about his early life, except that he attended a local common school and disliked farming. At age twenty-one he left home and settled several months later in Champlain, New York, a village near the Canadian border. For three years he taught school and read borrowed medical books in his spare time. In the fall of 1810 he moved to St. Albans, Vermont, to learn medicine as an apprentice to an established physician, Benjamin Chandler, still the most common means of acquiring a medical education. While living in the Chandler household and performing chores for the doctor, Beaumont learned by observing and doing. He rode to see patients with his preceptor, assisted in operations, compounded drugs, and occasionally filled in during Chandler’s absence....

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Bowditch, Henry Pickering (09 April 1840–13 March 1911), physiologist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Jonathan Ingersoll Bowditch, a successful Boston merchant, and Lucy Orne Nichols. Bowditch enjoyed a comfortable, cultured childhood in Boston and later in West Roxbury, where his family moved when he was thirteen. In preparation for college Bowditch attended a school organized by Epes S. Dixwell, graduating in 1857. After graduating from Harvard College in 1861, Bowditch matriculated at the Harvard-affiliated Lawrence Scientific School in Cambridge to study chemistry and natural history in preparation for a possible career in medicine. His studies were interrupted in November 1861 when he joined the First Massachusetts Cavalry as a second lieutenant. His unit engaged in a number of actions, including one at New Hope Church on 27 November 1863 where Bowditch was shot in the arm while leading a charge. Although honorably discharged in February 1864, he soon rejoined the army as a major in the Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry. He resigned his commission in June 1865 and returned to the Lawrence Scientific School, where he resumed studies of comparative anatomy under ...

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Cannon, Walter Bradford (19 October 1871–01 October 1945), physiologist, was born in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, the son of Colbert Hanchett Cannon, a railroad official, and Sarah Wilma Denio, a schoolteacher who died when Walter was ten years old. Cannon attended public schools in Milwaukee and St. Paul, where his high school English teacher, May Newson, encouraged him to seek a scholarship at Harvard College and helped him to secure financial aid. At Harvard Cannon studied biology and zoology under professors ...

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Dunglison, Robley (04 January 1798–01 April 1869), author, medical educator, and physiologist, was born in Keswick, Cumberland, England, the son of William Dunglison, a wool manufacturer, and Elizabeth Jackson. Dunglison attended Brisco Hill in Cumberland and Green Row Academy, where he obtained facility in Greek and Latin. Later he acquired fluency in French and German and cultivated his gift for writing. The death of a rich uncle thwarted the plan for him to become a planter in the West Indies....

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Flint, Austin (28 March 1836–22 September 1915), physiologist, forensic psychiatrist, and specialist in mental disorders, was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, the son of Austin Flint, a prominent physician, and Anne Skillings. Early in Flint’s life, his family resided briefly in Boston, and in 1836 they relocated to Buffalo, New York, where Flint obtained his early education. In subsequent years the father’s highly peripatetic professional career took the family to numerous other cities, such as Chicago, Louisville, New Orleans, and New York City....

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Mann, Frank Charles (11 September 1887–30 September 1962), experimental physiologist and physician, was born in Adams County, Indiana, the son of Joseph E. Mann and Louisa Kiess. Mann’s parents were homesteaders on the Hoosier frontier, and his early rearing consisted of chores around the family farm. His interest in medicine arose early in childhood. “By the time I was six years of age,” Mann wrote in his autobiography, “I had determined to be a doctor” (p. 2). He attended high school in Decatur, Indiana, and then Marion Normal College and Indiana University. From the latter institution, Mann received a B.A. in 1911. Although accepted by the medical school at the Johns Hopkins University, Mann attended Indiana’s medical school for financial reasons. In 1913 Indiana awarded him an M.D. and the following year an M.A. for his work on surgical shock....

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Masters, William Howell (27 December 1915–16 February 2001), physician, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Francis W. Masters and Estabrooks Taylor Masters. Details of his family background are unknown beyond the fact that Masters grew up in comfortable financial circumstances. Young Masters attended school in Kansas City, Missouri. At fourteen he was sent to board at Lawrenceville, a noted preparatory school in New Jersey. Upon graduation he entered Hamilton College in the fall of 1934. Masters was an excellent student, specializing in science; he was also a skilled debater and a proficient and versatile athlete, active on varsity teams in football, baseball, basketball, and track. After receiving a B.S. degree with honors in 1938, Masters enrolled at the University of Rochester Medical School. In his first year he came under the influence of his anatomy professor, ...