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April 21, 1962


JAMA. 1962;180(3):240-241. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050160056019

Hermann Boerhaave was born in Voorhout, a few miles from Leyden, Holland, during the final hours of 1668. In his days of prime professional maturity, he was the leading physician of Europe. Not since Galen had a clinician achieved such a wide reputation as a teacher. He did not choose to affiliate with the Eclectic Sect but selected from all sects what he judged good and serviceable. He systematized medical knowledge, clarified and expounded medical theory, while his contributions to the art of medicine were beyond measure, through teaching and exemplary performance in the care of the sick. His interests included philosophy, theology, chemistry, botany, physic, and clinical medicine.1 His father, a scholarly clergyman, took special care that his son would be skilled in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Chaldean literature, and hoped that he would succeed him in the Church. Hermann was an apt pupil and before adolescence translated

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