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J Med Biogr. 2006 May;14(2):75-83.

Dr David Maclagan (1785-1865): distinguished Military Surgeon, President of both the Royal College of Surgeons and Royal College Physicians of Edinburgh, founder of a medical and military dynasty.

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  • 1Section of Anatomy, School of Biomedical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. M.Kaufman@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

Dr David Maclagan studied medicine in Edinburgh, obtaining the LRCS Edin Diploma in 1804 and graduating with the MD degree in 1805. Because he was too young to enter the army, he spent a year in London, principally at St. George's Hospital, and he gained the MRCS England Diploma in 1807. Then he entered the army as an Assistant Surgeon associated with the 91st Foot Regiment. He served at Walcheren in 1809 and in the Peninsula. Later he was seconded as a Surgeon-Major to the 9th Portuguese Brigade. After his promotion to Physician to the Forces, he superintended the hospital arrangements of the Portuguese Army. Between 1811 and 1814 he sent a series of letters, principally to his wife, giving his personal impressions of his life in the war zone. He also maintained two personal diaries that nominally detailed his activities in the Peninsula between 1812 and 1813. After the end of the fighting he was put on half-pay and returned to Edinburgh. Then he gained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1816 and was appointed a Surgeon to the New Town Dispensary. After he established himself in private practice in Edinburgh he became the Honorary Consulting Surgeon to the Dispensary until shortly before his death. He was elected President of the Edinburgh College of Surgeons in 1826-27. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 1848, and was elected its President in 1856-57. He founded an important medical and military dynasty. Three of his sons joined the medical profession and four served in the army. One of his sons was appointed Archbishop of York. His eldest son followed in his father's footsteps and was also President of both Royal Colleges, of Surgeons and Physicians, in Edinburgh. His widow, Jane, and his seven sons survived him.

PMID:
16607406
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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