Thursday, 19 September 2013

John Hunter

John Hunter was born on 13 February 1728 in Long Calderwood, East Kilbride, Scotland and died 16 October 1793 at the age of 65 because of a heart attack. He is a well-known surgeon and anatomist and some name him as ‘one of the fathers of modern medicine’. He was an early supporter of careful observation and scientific method in medicine. The Hunterian Society of London was named in his honour for his brilliant work in medicine. His wife was Anne Hunter, the friend of Edward Jenner, the inventor of the smallpox vaccine.

His was the youngest of ten and grew up on his family’s small farm. In his early life, he despised school and hated books. He went to a grammar school in East Kilbride, but he would rather have looked after insects and animals. When he was 20, he wrote to his brother, William, to see if he could join him in London, since he was a famous obstetrician. He agreed and John Hunter assisted him on his preparations for the autumn term since William was a teacher. He excluded brilliant talent in anatomy and was soon made Master of Surgeon at Surgeon’s Hall. He later wrote his first book: Natural History of Human Teeth and coined the terms molar, incisors and cuspids (canines). He is now known as one the most important surgeons of all time.