Tag Archives: University of Edinburgh

Thomas Keith; pioneer photographer and pioneer surgeon

Iain Macintyre Edinburgh, Scotland   Figure 1. Thomas Keith. Artist and date unknown. Etching with Keith’s signature (image reproduced with permission Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh). “His success so far outstripped that of all other operators, that it became a wonder and admiration of surgeons all over the world.”1 So wrote J Marion Sims […]

William Cullen (1710-1790)

William Cullen. 18th century. Unknown author. Via Wikimedia. William Cullen ranks high among the illustrious members of the Scottish Enlightenment. Friend of Adam Smith and physician of David Hume, president of the Royal College of Physicians of Glasgow and later of Edinburgh, he was appointed physician to the King in Scotland and became one of […]

A surgeon and a gentleman: the life of James Barry

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Dr. James Barry with John, a servant, and his dog, Psyche. Unknown Artist. c1850.   “Do not consider whether what I say is a young man speaking, but whether my discussion with you is that of a man of understanding.”1 – Dedication of the thesis of James Barry In November of 1809, […]

Bibliotheca Sibbaldiana

Colin J. McDowall Edinburgh, Scotland   Figure 1: Sir Robert Sibbald by Willem Verelst or John Alexander. Photo credit: Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh On 5 February 1723 a crowd gathered at the house of the late Sir Robert Sibbald, noted Edinburgh physician, for the auction of his personal library. Sibbald was a considerable […]

Through the magic door with Conan Doyle

  “Father said it used to be a gentleman was known by his books.” — William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury   You are invited, gentle reader, to walk through the magic door and step into the library. Smoking is allowed, says your host, as he invites you to sit on the green settee […]

Why did Darwin drop out of medical school?

Richard Brown and Thalia Garvock-de Montbrun Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada   Plaque on the National Museum of Scotland where Darwin lived while studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh.  Erasmus Alvey (Ras) Darwin, the elder brother of Charles Darwin, completed six months of hospital training in Edinburgh in 1825-26 and then went to London to study at […]