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September 1996

Moments in Surgical History

Arch Surg. 1996;131(9):980. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430210078014

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John Beale Davidge (1768-1829) initially studied medicine with James Murray (1739-1819) and William Murray (1751-?), brothers who practiced in Annapolis, Md. Davidge later attended medical lectures in Philadelphia, Pa, and Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, receiving his MD in Glasgow in 1793. After practicing briefly in England, Davidge moved to Baltimore, Md, and was instrumental in establishing the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he was appointed to the position of chair of anatomy and surgery. In 1823, Davidge reported in the Baltimore Philosophical Journal and Review the country's first extirpation of the parotid gland. Although there had been numerous extirpations performed prior to his, none had been presented in medical journals. Davidge's patient recovered well, "... with the exception of some obliquity of the muscles of the face, owing to the necessary division of the portio dura of the seventh pair of nerves."

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