Harvey Williams Cushing (1869-1939) was born as the 10th child of a well-educated, puritanical medical family in Cleveland (figure 1). He attended Yale University, graduated cum laude from Harvard Medical School and was trained as a general surgeon at Johns Hopkins under the famous but drug-addicted William Halsted. He proceeded to specialize in surgery of the brain and nervous system. In this way, he personally invented the field of neurosurgery and in the process of doing so, named a dozen of pathophysiological conditions after himself. Moreover, he introduced a number of ideas to the field of general clinical medicine, which are still of great value today: he was the first physician to use diagnostic X-rays on his own patients, he proposed the use of anaesthesia (Ether’s) charts within the operating theatre after the avoidable death of one of his patients and also was the first doctor to use electrocoagulation during surgery.

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S.W.J. Lamberts (Steven)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Bruin, C. (2009, July). Somatostatin and dopamine receptors as molecular targets for the medical treatment of Cushing’s disease. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/37562