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July 2, 1938

J. B. Murphy, Stormy Petrel of Surgery

JAMA. 1938;111(1):91-92. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790270093047

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More than twenty years has now elapsed since the death of Dr. J. B. Murphy, aptly subtitled in the book by Loyal Davis as the "stormy petrel of surgery." To the rapidly growing body of physicians graduated since 1916, Murphy's controversial but vital figure has emerged in countless tales from the lips of their elders. Dr. Davis, who occupies the chair of surgery at Northwestern University Medical School, held at one time by Murphy, has presented a fascinating account of the manifold activities of probably the best known American surgeon of his age. Constantly in hot water because of the publicity accorded to him (some of it apparently unsought), Murphy's unquestioned ability achieved a professional reputation both in this country and abroad equaled by few and surpassed by none. In general, the sources utilized by Davis were favorable to Murphy in most of his controversies. To this extent, therefore, the

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