Title page of John Hunter's Veneral Disease, 1818.
Hoffman RC201 .H92 1818a


                     JOHN HUNTER (1728-1793)

    Although of humble origins, John Hunter became one of the most influence surgeons of his age. He wrote two books on teeth, in which he clearly described dental anatomy and coined the terms bicuspids, cuspids, incisors and molar, and described dental pathology. 
   At the time Hunter was considered the authority on venereal diseases. He thought that gonorrhea and syphilis were caused by a single pathogen. Living in an age when physicians frequently experimented on themselves, he inoculated himself with gonorrhea, using a needle that was unknowingly contaminated with syphilis. When he contracted both syphilis and gonorrhea, he claimed it proved his erroneous theory that there was only one venereal disease.  He championed its treatment with mercury and cauterization. He included his findings in his Treatise on the Venereal Disease, first issued in 1786.
     Because of Hunterís reputation, knowledge concerning the true nature of gonorrhea and syphilis was retarded, and it was not until 51 years later that his theory was proved to be wrong.
     This is the second revised edition, published in London in 1818.

Portrait of John Hunter

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