John Collins Warren

John Collins Warren

John Collins Warren

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John Collins Warren (August 1, 1778 – May 4, 1856), of Boston, was one of the most renowned American surgeons of the 19th century. In 1846 he gave permission to William T.G. Morton to provide ether anesthesia while Warren performed a minor surgical procedure. News of this first public demonstration of surgical anesthesia quickly circulated around the world.

Biography

Born in Boston, he was the son of John Warren, well-known doctor, Harvard professor, and a founder of the Harvard Medical School. . He graduated from Harvard College in 1797, then began the study of medicine with his father. In 1799, he continued his medical studies in London and Paris, including work with the pioneer anatomist Sir Astley Cooper (1768–1841). On his return to America in 1802, Warren entered into partnership with his father and also assisted him with anatomical lectures, dissections, and demonstrations at Harvard Medical School.

He was named Adjunct Professor of Anatomy and Surgery in 1809, then, at his father's death in 1815, assumed the Hersey Professorship of Anatomy and Surgery, which post he held until retirement in 1847. During this time, Warren played a leading role in establishing New England's first medical journal, The New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery (first issue January 1812), which subsequently evolved into today's New England Journal of Medicine. He was also active in the Anthology Club.

Warren was the first dean of Harvard Medical School (1816–1819) and promoted its...
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