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Presley PurdomMrs. Powers English 8 17 January 2018John Hunter, a Genius in Medicine and ScienceEven though John Hunter dropped out of school at only thirteen, he went on to become a man who was well respected and one of the most famous surgeons of his time. John Hunter, once a young man who did not enjoy school, learned at his older brother’s school of human anatomy and went on to become one of the most famous and respected surgeons (Paget 15). John Hunter, born on February 13, 1728, in East Kilbride, Scotland as the youngest of ten children did not enjoy school and asked many questions about things no one had discovered or cared to learn about (Paget 8; Moore). He seemed like a disgrace to his family because his brothers studied law and medicine, his father became a well-respected man but John was, “deficient in self-control, idle and ignorant” (Paget 15). At the young age of thirteen, John dropped out of school and began to wander the countryside, dissecting and observing small animals as he went (Moore). William, John’s older brother, saw how John was interested in dissection and nature, so William invited John to come and help him in his new school of human anatomy (Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica). At age twenty, John left Scotland for London, to help his older brother William at his school of human anatomy. John helped his brother by gathering supplies for the school, like dead bodies and animals to dissect (Moore). He studied in his brothers class for 12 years and also studied surgery under William Cheselden at Chelsea Hospital (Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica; Foster).After working with his brother for 12 years, John went on to become an army surgeon. He worked in the army for 3 years and made several important medical discoveries of his time. One of those discoveries focused on amputations. John observed the difference between five French soldiers who had small gunshot wounds and one British soldier who had surgery for his gunshot wound. The French soldiers recovered better than the British soldier so John determined that it would do people better to leave simple gunshot wounds untreated then to have to go through an amputation (Foster).After returning from the army, John began his own practice in 1763. One of his procedures would take healthy teeth from destitute people and put them in wealthy people’s mouths so that the wealthy could maintain their high pristine. This became very unpopular with the public so he stopped doing that type of teeth transplant but he continued his practice and performed other important medical procedures. It is believed that John used himself in an experiment to see if syphilis and gonorrhea were truly the same diseases, displaying his commitment to finding out how disease work and how they could be treated. He continued testing out new ideas for treatments and wrote several books on treatments for diseases that he had investigated. In 1783, he moved to Leicester Square with his wife and kids and began a school to teach students about investigating diseases and treatments, where he taught students like Edward Jenner and Thomas Chevalier, who later on in their life became famous (Foster).    John died on October 16, 1793, due to a heart attack. He struggled with angina and died during a meeting of the boards of governors (Dobson). Anne could afford to have a funeral for him but only close friends and family members attended. However, Anne did not have enough money to pay for his burial at Westminster Abbey so John’s coffin was placed in vaults at St. Martin’s-in-the-fields. In 1859, the vaults were opened and John’s coffin was moved to Westminster Abbey on March 28, 1859. A window at the church of  St. Mary Abbott’s, Kensington still remains in honor of John. (Paget, 235- 236). The public respected John at a young age because of his discoveries. He had accomplishments in so many fields, it became hard to say exactly what he had a specialty in. Over one-third of his school/museum specimens were bought and protected by the British parliament, but the Royal College of surgeons kept the collection and established the Hunterian Oration in his honor  (Foster). In 1776 he became Surgeon Extraordinary to King George III and four of his books were published; he also became the surgeon at St. George’s Hospital (Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica).John made early contributions to oncology, and for some time focused on infections and coming up with treatments for infections through surgery. During this time, he made several medical advancements and wrote his books about his discoveries. He always tested his treatments ideas before putting them into practice and not only taught but encouraged his students to test and experiment with treatment ideas. His students took his advice to heart, thus causing his idea spread worldwide and helping modern medicine  (Moore).John Hunter went through struggles, such as being seen as a disgrace to his family but later became one of the most respected surgeons. Once a young man who did not enjoy school, learned at his older brother’s school of human anatomy and went on to become one of the most famous surgeons of his time, John Hunter is a man who deserves our respect.Works Cited Dobson, Jessie. “Hunter, John.” Encyclopedia, 2008,, Melissa. “John Hunter: ‘Founder of Scientific Surgery'”. Healio, Jan. 2009,, John. The Natural History of the Human Teeth… J. Johnson, 1778″John Hunter.” Royal College of Surgeons, 2008., Wendy. “John Hunter (1728-1793)” The James Lind Library. 2009., Stephen. John Hunter, man or science and surgeon (1728-1793). T. Fisher Unwin, 1897.The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, “John Hunter”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 7 Mar. 2013,