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By the early 19th century, physicians had a clear understanding of the human anatomy (from dissecting cadavers) but knowledge about the role of each internal organ and how they worked in a living and breathing individual was hazy. Doctors had a couple of diagnostic tools at their disposal, such as the stethoscope and the laryngoscope, to poke and prod their patients with, but the scope of these devices were limited. Nobody had ever seen the insides of a living person, save during hastily carried out surgeries, until William Beaumont landed with a gunshot victim.

Alexis St. Martin

William Beaumont and Alexis St. Martin. Oil on canvas by Dean Cornwell.


© Amusing Planet, 2020.


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