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April 7, 1962


JAMA. 1962;180(1):58-59. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050140060016

An unbroken line of succession for 126 years is a L record for a family dynasty in academic medicine. Nor is there any substantial evidence to cast suspicion upon the wisdom of such nepotism during the glorious era of Edinburgh medicine.1 Drs. Alexander Monro, Primus, Secundus, and Tertius, Professors of Anatomy and Surgery during the 18th and 19th centuries, made secure the fame of the Edinburgh school. The dynasty began, in fact, in 1712 when John Monro, father of Monro Primus and an army surgeon, became President of the Edinburgh College of Surgeons 14 years before the official founding of the medical school. The need for study of human anatomy had been recognized in the community 2 centuries earlier, through an action of the surgeons and barbers in their charter, dated 1505, which assured them the body of a condemned man once a year for dissection. In the interim,