Title page of Nathan Smith's Memoirs, 1831
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 posthumously by his son Nathan Ryno Smith in 1831,  recounted his extensive experience as a physician in America during its formative years as the United States.

 

Portrait of Dr. Nathan Smith

 

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