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December 25, 1967


JAMA. 1967;202(13):1145-1146. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130260067016

William Williams Keen, surgeon of the Woman's Medical College and Jefferson Medical College, is better known for his clinical teaching, surgical skill, and outstanding addresses than for any major scientific contributions in his specialty. He was born in Philadelphia, attended Central High School and Saunders Academy, and in 1859, graduated with collegiate honors from Brown University. He received his medical training at Jefferson Medical College, where he came under the influence of S. Weir Mitchell, and completed requirements for the MD degree in 1862. During his first year in medical school, he spent a few weeks of military service in a camp at Alexandria and was engaged in the Battle of Bull Run. Immediately following graduation he was commissioned acting assistant surgeon in the US Army, eventually serving in the Turner Lane Army Hospital; there combatants with nerve injuries were treated, and a patient with Horner's syndrome was observed before