Analysis of Sir James Mackenzie (1852-1925)

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Analysis of Sir James Mackenzie (1852-1925)

James Mackenzie was a man of great importance during his lifetime and has been said to be one of the world's greatest pioneers in medicine (Mair, 4). His contributions to the field of medicine are still taught and read about around the world. In his research and writings, Mackenzie discussed the importance of the prevention and cure of disease and how we can teach our general practitioners and future medical students to become more familiar with the various stages of disease before suffering and even death occurs. He diverted much of his attention on the study of epidemiology and just how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why. The study of epidemiology is used to help prevent illness and to help manage patients that already have a disease ( During Mackenzie's time, the prevention and cure of disease was a very lingering topic that not a lot of people wanted to address. Because of Mackenzie's research, time, and efforts taken towards the prevention and cure of disease, people have gained a better understanding and have taken a completely different outlook into the field of medicine. His efforts and contributions made a huge impact in the history of medicine and on "the future of medicine" as well.

James Mackenzie was born April 4, 1853 in Pictstonhill Farm, Scone Scotland. He attended the medical school at Edinburgh University in 1874 during a promising and exciting time of which the germ theory of disease was shaking the medical world (Mair, 31). He completed his residency in 1879 and joined Dr. Briggs and Brown in general practice in Burnley, England. He wrote in his Personal Experiences that he "was fortunate to serve under two doctors with exceptional attainments, the one being a shrewd general practitioner of many years' experience, and the other a surgeon of no mean ability....It was an old-fashioned practice of many years' standing and we followed the old custom of dispensing our own medicines...I had an opportunity of judging the effects of remedies which I otherwise would not have obtained, and having that opportunity, I was able to make some observations on the actions of drugs that physicians and pharmacologists with all their magnificent opportunities had failed to achieve.

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