[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Other Articles
March 25, 1961


JAMA. 1961;175(12):1100-1101. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040120062017

A department of forensic medicine is a relatively new addition to the organization of a medical school faculty, although Imhotep (c. 3,000 B.C.), Chief Justice and Court Physician, might be regarded as the first recognized medico-legal expert. Modern forensic medicine appeared initially in Germany and France. The first University chair in this subject was not created in Britain until 1807. This venture, which occurred at Edinburgh, was criticized severely in the House of Commons. Guy's Hospital Medical School created their Chair in the subject in 1834. Dr. Taylor, the first incumbent, published one of the outstanding monographs in the field. These and other items are recounted by Sir Sydney Smith, Regius Professor Emeritus of Forensic Medicine at Edinburgh, in his autobiography, Mostly Murder.1

The prospect of easily won riches from his native land, New Zealand, tempted Smith to gamble early in life. At the immature age of seventeen, he

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview