A Revolutionary Surgeon
Ephraim McDowell received a somewhat unorthodox medical education: He was taught by a private physician in Virginia before attending the University of Edinburgh Medical School in 1793. And, although he spent three years there, he didn't receive a degree. Instead, he returned to his home in Danville, Ky., to study with noted Scottish physician John Bell. He learned well, however, for his skill as a surgeon became renowned. He received little credit for his innovative procedures because he didn't keep good records, but his techniques were so revolutionary that soon students were seeking his instruction. When papers describing three of his successful ovariotomies were published in 1817, his status as a surgeon was elevated. He was born on this date in 1771 and died in 1830.
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