Harvey Williams Cushing (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Cushing was the founder of modern neurosurgical procedures, introducing into general medicine and surgery the determination of blood pressure and the continuous recording of vital signs during surgery. He made fundamental discoveries about the disorders of the pituitary gland and had a profound influence on the training of surgeons in the United States.
Cushing was born the tenth and last child to Henry Kirke and Betsey Williams Cushing. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all physicians. He had a happy, secure childhood, the family comfortably provided for by his father, a highly regarded practitioner and professor at the Cleveland Medical College. Cushing grew up lean and handsome, with finely chiseled features and considerable athletic ability.
He enrolled at Yale, and, despite his father’s urging not to participate on athletic teams, earned a varsity letter in baseball, the sport he loved most. Not until his senior year did he seriously entertain the idea of a medical career; in 1891, after he was graduated, he entered the Harvard Medical School, as had his brother Edward earlier. His academic performance at Harvard, in contrast to his record at Yale, was outstanding. His excellent artistic ability enabled him to draw anatomical structures with fidelity and sketch patients to fix symptoms and general appearance, which he continued to do throughout his career...
(The entire section is 2231 words.)
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