An Open Path To The Stomach
The bizarre healing of a stomach wound allowed a little-known U.S. Army surgeon to found the field of science known as gastroenterology. William Beaumont, born on this date in 1785, was serving at Fort Michilimackinac in northern Michigan in 1822 when a French Canadian needed treatment for a stomach wound that was assumed to be fatal. Beaumont tended to the patient, who made a miraculous recovery but was left with a permanent hole in his lower back that led directly to his stomach. This opening allowed Beaumont to perform what are considered classic studies of the stomach's secretions. It was Beaumont who, among other discoveries, established the connection between a person's emotional state and gastric secretion/digestion.
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