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June 6, 1977

Boerhaave's Men at Leyden and After

JAMA. 1977;237(23):2542. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270500094043

Hermann Boerhaave, probably the greatest teacher of medicine in modern times, exerted a vast influence that we can measure by studying the careers of his students. Boerhaave's specific influence on British medicine and, through the Scottish connection, on early American medicine, has received the attention of several scholars. Dr Underwood, with unsurpassed background and critical acumen, has gone back to original sources and published what will certainly be the definitive work on this subject.

Through painstaking search he has traced the men from Great Britain who had studied in Leyden during Boerhaave's lifetime. They had studied there for various lengths of time. Some took degrees; others did not. Some became famous indeed; others remained obscure. Underwood has traced what happened to them and described the way they affected British medical life in England, Scotland, and Ireland. The analysis really covered the entire 18th century—for of all the British students who