The PioneersThe MilitaryReferences

Benjamin Collins Brodie 1783-1862

Brodie was born the son of a Reverend Peter Brodie, the rector of the parish of Winterslow, and Sarah Collins, the daughter of a banker from Salisburyin Wiltshire. His primary education, as was common for children of church professionals at the the time was, by his father and mother. The good majority of church pastors were very well educated especially in the classics. He eventually ended up in London training under Abernathy at St Bartholomew's and then to Hunters hospital, St Georges. 

He obtained positions he would otherwise not have got due to the absence of several surgeons seconded to the military during the times of the Napoleonic wars. He went on to specialise in orthopaedic conditions and we know him today for his instruments that carry his name, the Brodie's probe being a good example. After attending with Sir Ashley Cooper the King of England, he eventually went on to become the Kings surgeon.

A quote by Brodie:

"You must feel and act as a gentleman. .... But let there be no misunderstanding as to who is to be regarded as a gentleman. It is not he who is fashionable in his dress, expensive in his habits, fond of fine equipages, pushing himself into the society of those who are above him in their worldly station that is entitled to that appellation. It is he who sympathizes with others, and is careful not to hurt their feelings even on trifling occasions; who, in little things as well as in great, .... assumes nothing which does not belong to him, and yet respects himself; this is the kind of gentleman which a medical practitioner should wish to be. Never pretend to know what cannot be known; make no promise which it is not probable that you will be able to fulfil; you will not satisfy every one at the moment, for many require of our art that which our art can not bestow." 248

 

 

 

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