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Alexander Peddie

Alexander Peddie

The basics
Quick Facts
Occupations Surgeon
The details
Biography

Alexander Peddie FRSE FRCPE (1810-1907) was a Scottish physician.

Life

Alexander Peddie was born on 3 June 1810. He was the son of an Edinburgh minister and received his early education at the Edinburgh High School. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, at the encouragement of Dr. John Abercrombie, who was at the time the most notable physician in Scotland. At the suggestion of Abercrombie, Peddie became an apprentice to James Syme, a rising surgeon. Syme had established a public surgical hospital in Minto House where he also carried out limited classes for clinical instruction and a large class for systematic surgery. Peddie was one of these early apprentices. There he was associated with Dr John Brown who became his lifelong friend.

In 1835, Peddie obtained the Licence of the Royal College of Surgeons and his M.D. from Edinburgh University. Peddie then travelled around Europe, spending time in Paris where he studied some special departments of medicine. On his return from postgraduate study in Paris he introduced the stethoscope to Edinburgh.

When Syme was given the Clinical Chair of Surgery in Edinburgh, Peddie became Superintendent of Minto House which was largely used for the medical care of the sick poor. At the same time he developed an extensive private practice in the City.

In 1845, Peddie was the first to recognise the contagious nature of puerperal fever and its intimate connection with erysipelas and phlebitic inflammation. He was one of the originators of the Sick Children's Hospital and gave two papers on Diseases of Infancy and Childhood in which he stressed the need for such an institution. That he was a pioneer in preventive medicine is evidenced by a series of ten lectures which he gave in Edinburgh and surrounding towns on Violation of Laws of Health illustrated with diagrams by Sir Noel Paton.

Peddie became Fellow of the RCPE in 1845 and was elected president in 1877.

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