Who was the 1st surgeon?

History of surgery dates

Although Hippocrates is considered by many to be the father of medicine, he is not actually the first physician in history (although his contribution is undeniable). That honor would go to an Egyptian scholar named Imhotep.

Imhotep, whose name means “he who comes in peace,” existed as a mythological figure in the minds of most scholars until the end of the 19th century, when he was established as an actual historical figure.

Imhotep lived in Ancient Egypt between 2690 and 2610 B.C. He was an important person, holding the offices of high priest of Heliopolis and chaty of the pharaoh (chay is the highest-ranking official).

A commoner by birth, Imhotep’s intelligence and determination enabled him to carve a niche for himself in the pharaoh’s court, becoming one of his most trusted advisors, as well as the architect of the pharaoh’s tomb, the step pyramid of Saqqara.

His fame as a sage and architect was matched only by his fame as a physician, which led him to become the god of medicine for later generations of Egyptians. He was also a renowned poet, mathematician and astronomer.

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History of surgery wikipedia

The mid-19th century is when a new generation of physicians emerged, and among them, eye doctors. As history is made with the work of the human being is mentioned below the life of the most prominent in this era:

– Doctor José Ramos. He was born in San Luis Potosi. In Europe he specialized in ophthalmology and upon his return to Mexico he taught this subject. In 1893 he founded the Mexican Ophthalmology Society. He was president of the Academy of Medicine in 1896 and died on February 26, 1909.

– Doctor Miguel Otero Arce. Born in Mexico on April 21, 1850, died in the same city in 1915. He lived in San Luis Potosi, where he founded the Military Hospital. He started the Pasteurian laboratory in 1888, developed the rabies vaccine and organized the Children’s Hospital in 1893. He published an article on tuberculous bacillary leukoplakia of the conjunctiva in the medical gazette of Mexico.

Father of modern surgery

He took part in numerous military conflicts and was the first to deny that the injuries caused by gunpowder were poisoned, as it was believed until then, and he treated them effectively with a salve based on egg yolk, rose water and turpentine, instead of resorting to the brutal cauterization with boiling oil that was performed in those days.

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He also promoted the use of tourniquets in amputations, ligation of veins and arteries in hemorrhages and the use of bandages. He promoted the washing of wounds, although he acknowledged that he did not know why, thanks to this, “swelling, fevers and purulence” were avoided.

Surgery History Timeline

He studied medicine and was assistant to John Dalton. He received his A.B. degree in 1874 and his M.D. degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1877. He was an intern at Bellevue Hospital (1876-1877) and a physician at New York Hospital (1877-1878). There he came to create a system for recording temperature, pulse and respiration, by means of dots and curves of various colors.

Upon his return to New York he established a private practice and was on the staff of six hospitals. He also taught surgical classes on Sundays. He soon gained a great reputation as a surgeon and as an enthusiast of the antiseptic and aseptic methods. He was the author of one of the first cholelithomies performed in the United States.

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His assistant in the operating room was the aristocratic Carolina Hampton, who suffered from a dermatitis that was accused by the antiseptics then in use. Halsted asked the firm Good Year to manufacture rubber gloves for her. This was the beginning of the use of gloves in operating rooms. From protecting someone suffering from a disease, they then went on to protect the sterile field of the surgeon’s hands and those of the assistants. He married Carolina Hampton in 1890.