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December 1963

John Keats: Medical Student

Author Affiliations

Calgary Associate Clinic Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(6):987-988. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860060199027

Not long ago in these columns (October, 1962) we wrote at some length about the years which the English poet, John Keats, spent as a medical student. Recently there has come to our desk an article which provides some further interesting data in this connection and also some vignettes of 18th century medicine.‡ It will be remembered that Keats registered at Guy's Hospital, London, in 1815. At that time Guy's and St. Thomas's hospitals, generally known as "the United Hospitals," were situated on opposite sides of the same street, and, by an informal arrangement, the teaching of the students of one hospital was made open to those of the other.

At that time there were three kinds of student walking the wards: the pupils, entitled to attend lectures and operations, but who had no active part in what was done; the dressers, students who paid an extra fee to be