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August 12, 1992

The Caring Physician: The Life of Dr Francis W. Peabody

Author Affiliations

The University of Dayton (Ohio) Gosiger Health Center


by Oglesby Paul, 220 pp, with illus, $24.95, Boston, Mass, The Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, 1991.

JAMA. 1992;268(6):735-736. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490060067020

This brief biography of Francis W. Peabody (1881-1927) was written by Oglesby Paul, MD, professor emeritus of medicine at Harvard Medical School, whose own father was attended in his last illness by Dr Peabody. Drawing on letters, diaries, and numerous published and unpublished documents, Dr Paul has produced a richly detailed, absorbing, and moving account of Dr Peabody's personal life, professional career, philosophy of medical practice, and early death.

Francis Weld Peabody was born and raised in Boston's elite "Brahmin" society, son of a professor in the Harvard Divinity School and nephew of Harvard President Charles W. Eliot. After graduating from Harvard College and Medical School and interning at Massachusetts General Hospital, he devoted some months to advanced study in Europe before returning to Boston to take up a career in internal medicine. From the first he showed a leaning toward clinical and laboratory research, teaching, and writing. During successive