Hoffman R117 .S75
NATHAN SMITH (1762-1829)
Nathan Smith was one of New Englandís best-known and
respected physicians. He was a skilled surgeon, teacher, writer, and
practitioner. At a time when American physicians were poorly
educated, he played a major role in the establishment of medical
schools at Yale, the University of Vermont, and the Jefferson Medical
College at Philadelphia.
He developed important scientific principles
in relation to the pathology of necrosis, on which he founded a new and
successful mode of practice. Using the procedure he saved from
amputation the leg of the
future Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, who was then a child.
He was ahead of his time in insisting that doctors
practice "watchful waiting" and emphasizing patient-centered care.
He published Practical Essays on Typhus Fever in
1824. His Medical and Surgical Memoirs, published
his son Nathan Ryno Smith in 1831, recounted his extensive
experience as a physician in America during its formative years as the
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