August 8, 1966


JAMA. 1966;197(6):507-508. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110060181032

William Fergusson, practical surgeon of Edinburgh, might have preferred to remain in the North; however, James Syme, only slightly older, held a commanding lead in the profession in Scotland, and Fergusson's destiny lay in London. He attended Lochmaben grammar school near his birthplace, Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland, followed by high school and university work at Edinburgh.1 At the age of 15, he served as an apprentice in a law office, but, after two years of drudgery and discontent, he changed to medicine, becoming the pupil of anatomist Robert Knox. The spell of the dissecting room was unremitting and rewarding in that he assisted Knox as demonstrator to incredibly large classes, and on his own was recognized as a gifted lecturer in anatomy. He became a licentiate of the Edinburgh College of Surgeons at 19 and a Fellow one year later. Continuing the professional ascent, he was elected surgeon to