THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF SAMUEL GROSS, MDSamuel Gross, one of the preeminent surgeons, medical authors, and clinical teachers of the nineteenth century, wrote this classic, two-volume retelling of his life and studies shortly prior to his death in 1884. Educated at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Gross exhibited surgical expertise in ophthalmology, orthopedics, vascular trauma, intestinal trauma, and urology.
Gross was a surgeon, but he was also a writer. In the opinion of Gross, American medical institutes in the nineteenth century relied too heavily on European texts to educate their students. Because of this belief, Gross became an avid translator of foreign texts, including Bayle and Hollard's General Anatomy. However, the work Gross is possibly best known for was System of Surgery, published in 1859 and hailed as the most comprehensive work of its type in the English language. Another publication of Gross, his Manual of Military Surgery (1861), became a standard field manual for Civil War surgeons--including the Confederate Army for whom it was pirated and reprinted.
Gross also managed a thriving career as a professor of anatomy and surgery, spanning nearly fifty years, holding posts at the Jefferson Medical College, Louisville Medical Institute, the Medical College of Ohio, and Cincinnati College. He published over 1,200 articles, all while maintaining a thriving medical practice. A founder of the American Medical Association, Gross was also the founder and first president of the American Surgical Association.
He was a man of numerous and varied talents, and his life story has become immeasurably important to the American medical community. His Autobiography has become a cornerstone in the very literary canon that he strove to establish. At once essential in its discussion of the accomplishments of this eminent physician, it is equally memorable as an illumination of the humane insight with which Gross treated family, colleagues, and patients.
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