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To the Editor:—
In the interesting article in The Journal by I. S. Ravdin, "A Surgeon Takes a Second Look at Surgery" (158:532 [June 18] 1955), it is stated that, in 1805, Philip Syng Physick was made professor of surgery, the first time anyone was elected solely to the chair of surgery in any school of medicine. R. R. von Töply (Wien. klin. Wchnschr.13:212-214, 1900) reported that Franz Joseph Jaus was entrusted with lectures and demonstrations about surgery and nothing but surgery at the University of Vienna in 1749. In 1786, Ferdinand Josef Edler von Leber started teaching surgery (and nothing but surgery) at the University of Vienna (Neuburger, M.: Das alte medizinische Wien in zeitgenössischen Schilderungen, Vienna, Austria, M. Perles, 1921). Thus it would seem that the University of Vienna had a full-time professor of surgery more than 50 years before the date mentioned by Dr.
Ascher KW. EARLY PROFESSORSHIP IN SURGERY. JAMA. 1956;160(5):415. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960400073023