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March 19, 1982

Dr John McLoughlin

Author Affiliations

Portland, Ore

JAMA. 1982;247(11):1566-1567. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320360018021

To the Editor.—  The article on "Medical Numismatics" by C. R. Allen, Jr, MD, MPH (1981;246:2347), gives a fine overview of this interesting subject. The mention of John McLoughlin deserves amplification because he is the only physician portrayed on a US coin, having his likeness on the Fort Vancouver centennial half-dollar issued in 1925.It is documented that McLoughlin was a physician, trained by preceptorship in Quebec and licensed by examination in Montreal in 1803.1 He was employed as a contract physician by the Northwest Company, which later became the Hudson's Bay Company. His duties gradually became more administrative, and he was named a chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Company supervising the Northwest Territory. He established Fort Vancouver (in Washington, not British Columbia) in 1825 as the northwest headquarters of the company and administered the far-flung empire from that location for about 20 years. He is credited with