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Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES (1809-1894) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is probably known to most for his clever, original literary works, such as The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table and his poetry. He was, however, a physician, receiving his M.D. in 1836, and a most distinguished and famous professor of anatomy and physiology at Harvard Medical School, later Dean, 1847-1853. His lasting medical fame comes from an epochal essay he wrote in 1848 on the Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever in which he pointed out that the disease was frequently carried by the physician from one patient to another.

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