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March 2, 1963

LETTSOM AND THE REVIVAL OF OUTPATIENT MEDICINE

JAMA. 1963;183(9):786-787. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700090106019
Abstract

Little Jost Van Dyke, a tiny island near Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, was the birthsite (1744) of John Coakley Lettsom, who prepared an original account of alcoholism, one of the first manuscripts on addiction. John's father, Quaker and planter, sent his son, at the age of 7, to London for his education and medical career. As a member of the Society of Friends, John enrolled in the Quaker School at Penketh but was not eligible to attend Oxford or Cambridge; at 16, he was apprenticed to Sutcliff, a Quaker surgeon-apothecary and classical scholar at Settle, Yorkshire. In accepting the apprenticeship it was agreed that1 "he his master well and faithfully shall serve; his secrets shall keep; taverns he shall not haunt; at dice, card tables, bowls, or any other unlawful game he shall not play." The apprentice, in turn, shall be taught "the art, trade, mystery and

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