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Sir James McGrigor, Scottish physician

Sir James McGrigor, Scottish physician

C006/6162

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Credit

ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sir James McGrigor, 1st Baronet (1771-1858), Scottish physician. McGrigor was born and educated at Aberdeen and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. In 1793 he joined the army as a surgeon and saw action in Flanders, the West Indies and India. In 1811 he was appointed Surgeon General to the army of Wellington during the Peninsular campaign in Portugal and Spain. In 1814 he returned to Britain, was knighted and appointed Director-General of the Army Medical Service. Possibly inspired by the French approach to field medicine pioneered by Larrey, McGrigor reformed the way combat injuries were treated by setting up field hospitals, introducing the use of the stethoscope and improving hygiene. He is generaly held as the creator of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

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