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Barker, Jeremiah (31 March 1752–04 October 1835), physician, was born in Scituate, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Barker and Patience Howland, farmers. Barker’s early education under the Reverend Mr. Cutter, a Congregational minister, was followed by his study of medicine under Bela Lincoln of Hingham, Massachusetts, from 1769 to 1771. A graduate of Harvard College who had studied medicine under Ezekiel Hersey and in London hospitals and who had received an M.D. from Kings College, Aberdeen, Lincoln had had an unusually academic medical education for the period, a fact that would have a positive influence on Barker’s own medical training....

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Mary E. Bass. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B02453).

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Bass, Mary Elizabeth (05 April 1876–26 January 1956), physician, medical educator, and historian, was born in Carley, Mississippi, the daughter of Isaac Esau Bass and Mary Eliza Wilkes. She grew up in Marion County, where her father operated a gristmill and dry goods store. The 1890s economic depression bankrupted Isaac Bass, and the family moved to Lumberton, Mississippi, to invest in pecan orchards. The Basses were pious Baptists and active in civic concerns....

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William Darlington. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B05853).

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Darlington, William (28 April 1782–23 April 1863), physician, botanist, and author, was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of Edward Darlington, a farmer who also found time to serve in the Pennsylvania legislature, and Hannah Townsend. Wanting to escape the drudgery of farm work that had restricted his schooling to a few winter months each year, at age eighteen Darlington persuaded his father to pay the necessary fees for his apprenticeship to study medicine with John Vaughan in Wilmington, Delaware. In return, his father required that he give up his inheritance of a share of the family farm....

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Flick, Lawrence Francis (10 August 1856–07 July 1938), physician, historian, and early leader in the campaign against tuberculosis, was born in Carroll Township, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, the son of John Flick, a mill owner and farmer, and Elizabeth Schabacher (changed to Sharbaugh). Flick grew up on the family farm, but poor health excused him from the usual chores. A bookish boy and a devout Roman Catholic, he first attended local schools. For most of his teenage years, he studied at St. Vincent’s, a Benedictine college in Beatty (now Latrobe), Pennsylvania, but symptoms suggesting tuberculosis cut short his classwork, and he returned home. After a period of indecision and various jobs, he entered Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and graduated in 1879. He then completed an internship at Philadelphia Hospital and opened an office for the practice of medicine. His persisting illness, however, was finally diagnosed as tuberculosis and, following his physicians’ advice, he traveled to the West for his health. By 1883, improvement allowed him to resume his practice, which soon included increasing numbers of patients with tuberculosis. “When I recovered from tuberculosis as a young man,” he wrote, “I consecrated my life to the welfare of those afflicted with the disease and to the protection of those who had not yet contracted it” ( ...

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Goodale, George Lincoln (03 August 1839–12 April 1923), physician, botanist, and educator, was born in Saco, Maine, the son of Stephen Lincoln Goodale, a pharmacist and agricultural chemist, and Prudence Aiken Nourse. After serving an apprenticeship in his father’s apothecary shop, he entered Amherst College in 1856; there he received instruction from ...

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Handerson, Henry Ebenezer (21 March 1837–23 April 1918), physician and medical historian, was born near Gates Mills, Ohio, the son of Thomas Handerson and Catherine Potts, farmers. In 1839, after his father’s accidental death, Henry was adopted by his uncle, Lewis Handerson, a respected pharmacist in nearby Cleveland, and his wife, Prudence Punderson. Her brother, the Reverend Ephraim Punderson, was an Episcopal missionary who frequently visited them and greatly influenced the young frail boy. In 1852 the family moved to Beersheba Springs, Tennessee, and two years later, with health improved, Handerson entered Hobart College (Episcopal) in Geneva, New York, graduating in 1858 with an A.B. in the classics. The following year he was a private tutor on a cotton plantation near Alexandria, Louisiana, and then began to study medicine in the Medical Department of the University of Louisiana (now Tulane) in New Orleans....

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Lee, Charles Alfred (03 March 1801–14 February 1872), physician and author, was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Lee and Elizabeth Brown, farmers. Lee attended Williams College, from which he received a B.A. in 1822 and later an M.A. After studying medicine under his brother-in-law, Luther Ticknor, he received an M.D. from the Berkshire Medical College in 1825. While a student at Berkshire, he served at times as a demonstrator in anatomy and an instructor in botany....

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William James MacNeven. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B018277).

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MacNeven, William James (21 March 1763–12 July 1841), physician, professor, and Irish-American nationalist, was born on a small estate in Ballynahowne, County Galway, Ireland, the son of James MacNeven and Rosa Dolphin. William’s mother died when he was young, and he and his three brothers were raised by their aunt. At age ten or eleven William was sent to Prague to live with his uncle Baron William O’Kelley MacNeven, a court physician to Empress Maria Theresa. Following a classical education, William attended university in Prague and went on to study medicine at the University of Vienna, from which he graduated in 1783. In 1784 MacNeven returned to Dublin, where he established a medical practice....

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Ralph Hermon Major. Left, with Douglas Guthrie. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library, University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Major, Ralph Hermon (29 August 1884–15 October 1970), physician and historian of medicine, was born in Clay County, Missouri, the son of John Sleet Major, a banker, and Virginia Anderson. After completing his A.B. degree at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, in 1902, he traveled in Europe for three years. There he became proficient in German, French, Italian, and Spanish, adding to his knowledge of Greek and Latin. Back in America, he studied medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, obtaining his M.D. degree in 1910. He remained at Johns Hopkins for two years of postgraduate training in internal medicine before returning to Europe to spend 1912–1913 at the clinic of Friedrich Müller in Munich, Germany....

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Miles, Manly (20 July 1826–15 February 1898), physician, biologist, and professor of agriculture, was born in Homer, New York, the son of Manly Miles and Mary Cushman, farmers. When he was eleven, his family moved to a farm in eastern Michigan, near Flint. Trained in farm labor and deeply interested in science, especially chemistry and biology, in which he was ambitiously self-educated, he earned an M.D. from Chicago’s Rush Medical College in 1850. He married Mary E. Dodge in 1851. After practicing medicine in Flint for nine years, he became zoologist for Michigan’s new state geological survey. As its physician and zoologist he gathered collections of mollusca, birds, reptiles, and other animals, some of which he shared with scholars, including ...

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Nixon, Pat Ireland (29 November 1883–18 November 1965), physician and historian, was born at Old Nixon in Guadalupe County, Texas, the son of Robert Thomas, a farmer and stockman, and Frances Amanda Andrews. Nixon received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in 1905 and a medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1909....

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Sir William Osler. Courtesy of the Clendening History of Medicine Library, University of Kansas Medical Center.

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Osler, Sir William (12 July 1849–29 December 1919), physician, educator, and historian, was born in Bond Head, Ontario, Canada, the son of Featherstone Lake Osler, an Anglican priest, and Ellen Free Pickton, both of Cornwall, England. William’s father left Britain’s Royal Navy for an evangelical calling in the backwoods of early nineteenth-century Ontario. In 1837 the Oslers came to their new home in Bond Head, forty miles north of Toronto. The young Osler was a proficient scholar, caught in the common mid-nineteenth-century dichotomy between science and church. Ultimately, another Anglican priest, the Reverend W. A. Johnson, settled the matter by nourishing Osler’s interest in natural science. Microscopy replaced the ministry. As early as 1869, Osler’s first published work analyzed microscopic forms in a pond near his home....

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Packard, Francis Randolph (23 March 1870–18 April 1950), physician and medical historian, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Hooker Packard, a distinguished surgeon, and Elisabeth Wood. After attending Rugby Academy in Philadelphia, Packard was a pre-medical student in the biological department of the University of Pennsylvania from 1887 to 1889 and obtained an M.D. in 1892 from the university’s Department of Medicine. Unable to obtain a residency immediately at the Pennsylvania Hospital, he was invited to the new Johns Hopkins Hospital by the eminent internist ...

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Pendleton, Edmund Monroe (19 March 1815–26 January 1884), physician, entrepreneur, and educator, was born in Eatonton, Georgia, the son of Coleman Pendleton and Martha Gilbert. When his formal education in local private schools ended after only a few years because of his family’s financial reverses, Pendleton entered the business world. He shared the ownership of a jewelry store in Columbus, Georgia, and later ran a similar business with a cousin, W. B. Johnston, in Macon, Georgia. While working in the latter location Pendleton came across a chemistry textbook, which served as his introduction to science. He soon developed an interest in medicine and studied the subject independently and in the office of a local doctor. Determined to learn as much as possible on the subject, he also served an apprenticeship with a local pharmacist. Pendleton entered the newly founded (1833) Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston and graduated in 1837. While attending lectures at the college he also studied in the medical office of the college’s founder, ...

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Benjamin Rush. Engraving by James Barton Longacreof a painting by Thomas Sully. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-97104 ).