J. V. Hirschmann, MD
Hirschmann JV. Benjamin Franklin and Medicine. Ann Intern Med. 2005;143:830-834. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-143-11-200512060-00012
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2005;143(11):830-834.
Benjamin Franklin, called Dr. Franklin after receiving an honorary degree in 1759 for his contributions to understanding electricity, was not formally trained as a physician. Nevertheless, he had numerous interests in medicine, including experimentation, shrewd observations about health and disease in himself and others, civic activities, and inventions of medical devices. These achievements show his capacity for detailed, perceptive insights; his fastidiousness in recording his observations; and his thoughtful analyses of scientific phenomena and human conduct. In medicine, perhaps uniquely in his life, his major interests intersected: scientific pursuits, civic activities, amused scrutiny of human behavior, and the desire to improve the lot of his fellow man.
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