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Agnew, D. Hayes (24 November 1818–22 March 1892), surgeon and medical educator, was born David Hayes Agnew in Nobleville (Christiana), Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert Agnew, a physician, and Agnes Noble. In 1833 Agnew, who grew up in a deeply religious Presbyterian household, entered Jefferson College at Cannonsburg, a stronghold of Presbyterianism in western Pennsylvania. In 1834 Agnew left Jefferson to attend Newark College, established in that year by the Delaware legislature, where his cousin, the Reverend John Holmes Agnew, was professor of languages. With other students at Newark he founded the Athenaeum Literary Society, but when his cousin left in 1835, objecting to a lottery that supported the college, Agnew left with him. After studying medicine at home under his father, Agnew entered the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1836—one of the youngest members of the class. Agnew received his M.D. in 1838. The title of his graduating thesis was “Medical Science and the Responsibility of Medical Character.”...

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Ambler, James Markham Marshall (30 December 1848–30 October 1881), naval surgeon and explorer, was born in Markham, Virginia, the son of Richard Cary Ambler, a physician, and Susan Marshall. At age sixteen Ambler became a volunteer in the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry. He studied a premedicine curriculum at Washington College in 1865–1867 and then entered the University of Maryland. After acquiring a medical degree in 1870, he practiced in Baltimore until his appointment as an assistant surgeon in the U.S. Navy. During 1874–1875, he was stationed in the North Atlantic. In 1877 he joined the staff of the Naval Hospital at Norfolk, Virginia....

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Atlee, John Light (02 November 1799–01 October 1885), physician and surgeon, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Colonel William Pitt Atlee and Sarah Light. With the exception of the winter of 1813–1814, when he attended Gray and Wylie’s Academy in Philadelphia, he received his early schooling in Lancaster. In 1815 he began the study of medicine under Samuel Humes, continuing there while attending the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania; he received his M.D. in 1820. He returned to Lancaster to establish himself in practice and remained there for the rest of his life. In 1822 he married Sarah Howell Franklin, daughter of Judge Walter Franklin of Lancaster County; they had three children....

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Atlee, Washington Lemuel (22 February 1808–06 September 1878), physician and surgeon, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Colonel William Pitt Atlee and Sarah Light. After an unsuccessful apprenticeship in a dry-goods store, he went at age sixteen to study medicine with his brother, ...

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Battey, Robert (26 November 1828–08 November 1895), surgeon, was born in Augusta, Georgia, the son of Cephas Battey and Mary Agnes Magruder. Battey attended Richmond Academy in Augusta and then Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, from which he graduated in 1844. After graduation, Battey first worked in Detroit and then in Marshall, Michigan, before returning south to work as a drugstore clerk in Rome, Georgia. By 1849 he was the proprietor of his own drugstore and had married Martha B. Smith, with whom he would have fourteen children. While in Rome, Battey began studying medicine under his brother George M. Battey. He continued his education in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1855, first in Professor ...

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Bayley, Richard (1745–17 August 1801), physician and surgeon, was born in Fairfield, Connecticut. Little is known about his parents except that his mother was French, and his father was English. Indeed, it appears that little was known even to Bayley’s contemporaries. What is certain about Bayley is that he was an ambitious and innovative physician. After an early education that included French and the classics, he took an apprenticeship with the prestigious and fashionable New York physician John Charlton in 1766. Bayley studied with Charlton for three years; during that time he successfully courted and married his preceptor’s sister. They had children, but the precise number is uncertain. After completing his apprenticeship, Bayley wanted to put further polish on his medical education and in 1769 sailed to London to study with ...

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Bevan, Arthur Dean (09 August 1861–10 June 1943), surgeon and reformer of medical education, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Thomas Bevan, a physician, and Sarah Elizabeth Ramsey. After attending high school in Chicago, Bevan earned his Ph.B. at Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School in 1881. He then entered Rush Medical College in Chicago and obtained his M.D. in 1883. He finished first in the competitive examination for the U.S. Marine Hospital Service....

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Cabot, Hugh (11 August 1872–14 August 1945), surgeon, educator, and medical reformer, was born in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, the son of James Elliot Cabot, an architect, naturalist, and graduate of Harvard Law School, and Elizabeth Dwight. The youngest of seven boys, Cabot was an active child, exposed to music, the Unitarian religion, the challenge of the outdoors, and his parents’ philanthropic ideals. His privileged yet altruistic upbringing underlay his future productive life....

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Craik, James (1730–06 February 1814), physician and military surgeon, was born on his father’s estate near Dumfries, Scotland, the son of Robert Craik, a member of the British Parliament; the name of his mother is unknown. Little information about his early life is available. Although his parents were apparently not married, he was acknowledged by his father, who assumed responsibility for his education. After studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh, he joined the British army as a surgeon. Shortly after being sent to the West Indies, he resigned his position and sailed for Virginia in 1751. After a short period in the Norfolk area, he moved to Winchester, Virginia....

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Deaver, John Blair (25 July 1855–25 September 1931), surgeon, was born near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Joshua Montgomery Deaver, a physician, and Elizabeth Moore. His premedical education was limited to the public schools, and in 1878 he obtained an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He served from 1880 to 1899 in the applied anatomy department of his alma mater, where he also conducted popular quiz classes for students in anatomy and surgery. In 1886 he became a surgeon in the German Hospital of Philadelphia and was made chief of the surgery department in 1896. (In World War I the unpopular name of the German Hospital was changed to Lankenau after its main benefactor.) In 1889 he married Caroline Randall; they had four children....

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Finney, John Miller Turpin (20 June 1863–30 May 1942), surgeon, was born near Natchez, Mississippi, the son of Ebenezer Dickey Finney, a Presbyterian minister and boys’ school principal, and Annie Louise Parker, a girls’ school music teacher. His mother died when Finney was five months old, and he was raised by Mrs. Stephen Turpin for his first three years. In appreciation of Mrs. Turpin’s kindness, Reverend Finney added Turpin to his son’s name. After the Civil War, Finney’s father moved with his son to Winchester, Illinois, and in 1871, to Bel Air, Maryland....

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Frazier, Charles Harrison (19 April 1870–26 July 1936), neurosurgeon, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William W. Frazier, a prominent businessman, and Harriet Morgan Harrison. After graduating from the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia in 1886, Charles Frazier began a long association with the University of Pennsylvania. He received an A.B. in 1889, an M.D. in 1892, and an Sc.D. in 1925. He was elected a trustee of the university in 1934....

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Gibbon, John Heysham, Jr. (29 September 1903–05 February 1973), surgeon, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Heysham Gibbon, a and Mary Young. Gibbon received his early education at Penn Charter School. He graduated from Princeton in 1923 at the age of nineteen and went on to study medicine at the Jefferson Medical College. Disillusioned with medical studies, Gibbon almost dropped out of school to become an artist or a poet, but his father discouraged this decision, and Gibbon obtained his M.D. from Jefferson in 1927....

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Gibson, William (14 March 1788–02 March 1868), surgeon, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of John Gibson. Gibson received his early education in Baltimore and attended St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, before attending the 1803–1804 session at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University). Leaving before he obtained a degree, Gibson began to study in the office of John B. Owen of Baltimore, and in 1806 he attended a course of lectures at the University of Pennsylvania Medical College. In Philadelphia, Gibson for the first time heard the public lectures of ...

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Hamilton, John Brown (01 December 1847–24 December 1898), surgeon general of the United States, was born in Jersey County, Illinois, the son of Benjamin Brown, a clergyman, and Martha Hamilton. Of Scottish descent, the family founded and ran a country academy that offered students a classical education. Hamilton attended this school in his early years, helping out with the family farm in his free time. When he turned sixteen, he arranged to be apprenticed to Joseph Hamilton, a local physician, apprenticeship being a common path in those days to a career as a doctor. After a year of apprenticeship, Hamilton joined the G Company of the sixty-first Illinois Regiment and served throughout the rest of the Civil War....

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Hertzler, Arthur Emanuel (25 July 1870–12 September 1946), physician, surgeon, and pathologist, was born in the Mennonite community of West Point, Iowa, the son of Daniel Hertzler, a farmer, and Hannah Krehbiel, the first Mennonite child born west of the Mississippi River. Hertzler’s parents grew to hold divergent religious beliefs, separating their family, according to Hertzler, “as completely broken as it would have been by divorce,” and leaving Hertzler a lifelong skeptic about organized religion....

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Huggins, Charles Brenton (22 September 1901–12 January 1997), surgeon and Nobel laureate, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, the son of Charles Edward Huggins, a pharmacist, and Bessie Marie Huggins. Huggins graduated from Acadia University at the age of nineteen and received his medical degree from Harvard in 1924. He did his residency at the University of Michigan, where he met Margaret Wellman, a surgery nurse. They married in 1927 and had two children. Margaret Huggins died in 1983....

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Hutchinson, James (29 January 1752–06 September 1793), physician and surgeon, was born in Makefield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the son of Randall Hutchinson, a farmer and stonemason, and Catherine Rickey. Both parents were plain country Friends (Quakers). Apprenticed at fifteen to the druggists Moses and Isaac Bartram, young Hutchinson in 1771 became the pupil of Cadwalader Evans, a Philadelphia physician. He served as apothecary of the Pennsylvania Hospital (1773–1775) and earned a bachelor of medicine degree from the College of Philadelphia in 1774. He spent a year (1775–1776) in London, where, encouraged by John Fothergill to prepare particularly for surgery, he became a pupil of Percivall Pott at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and attended the lectures and dissections of William Hunter and John Hunter. He returned home via France in March 1777, carrying dispatches from ...

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Jeffries, John (05 February 1745–16 September 1819), physician, surgeon, and the first American to fly, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of David Jeffries, Boston’s treasurer for more than thirty years, and Sarah Jaffrey. Jeffries was named for a wealthy uncle who arranged for his early education. He entered Harvard College in 1759, receiving his master of arts with honors in 1763. He studied medicine with ...

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Jones, John (10 May 1729–23 June 1791), physician and surgeon, was born in Jamaica, Long Island, New York, the son of Quaker parents, Evan Jones, a physician, and Mary Stephenson. He studied medicine, first with his father, then with his cousin Thomas Cadwalader...