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January 6, 1962


JAMA. 1962;179(1):69-70. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050010071016

Thomas Addison (1793-1860), authoritative and perceptive teacher of morbid disease at St. Guy's Hospital, London, richly endowed medicine in the middle of the 19th century. Like his famous contemporaries at Guy's, Thomas Hodgkin and Richard Bright, his name is identified in specific constitutional deficiencies. Thomas was born of common folk, whose paternal forebears had lived in Cumberland near the old Roman wall, a notable archeologic monument. The village of his birth was Newcastle in nearby Northumberland County. Primary education in Latin was excellent. He became skilled in conversation in this language and later in medical school transcribed his lecture notes in Latin. Although his father would have preferred law, Thomas chose medicine and Edinburgh. His graduation thesis, prepared in Latin, was entitled: De Syphilide et Hydrargyro.1

At the age of 23, Addison began the practice of medicine as a house pupil at Lock Hospital, London. For a considerable period

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