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Alexander Monro, Primus, Scottish
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Alexander Monro (1697-1767) was the founder of Edinburgh Medical School. To distinguish him as the first of three generations of physicians of the same name, he is known as primus. He was instructed in the Latin, Greek and French languages, philosophy, mathematics and book-keeping. In 1717 he went to London to study anatomy under William Cheselden. He lodged in the house of an apothecary and visited patients with him. In 1718 he went to Paris where he performed operations under the direction of Thibaut, had instruction in midwifery from Gregoire, bandages from Cesau, and botany from Chomel. In 1719 he returned to Scotland and was examined by the Incorporation of Surgeons and admitted as a member. In 1726 Monro published his "Anatomy of the Human Bones", which went through eight editions in his lifetime, the later ones including a treatise on the nerves. He was a principal promoter and early clinical lecturer in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and continued his clinical work after resigning his chair to his son Alexander secundus. He died at the age of 69.
March 7th, 2013
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