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March 6, 1897


JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(10):471-472. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440100039008

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The British Medical Journal, with that philistinism which makes it occasionally unreliable on the history of the English-speaking medical profession, remarks that Sir Joseph Lister was the first medical man to be made a peer. Had the British Medical Journal added, " for medical reasons," it would have been correct, but as the Journal of the American Medical Association pointed out (Vol. XXVIII), when urging the creation of medical peers, Smithson, the present family, which succeeded the proud Percys in the Dukedom of Northumberland, was founded by a medical man marrying the heiress of the Percys. Nor was Smithson the only medical man who became a peer. As Jefferson remarks (Book about Doctors): " More than once a physician has won admission into the noblesse, but the battle resulting in such success has been fought in the arena of politics or the bustle of the law courts." Sylvester Douglas deserted the profession

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