John Rutherford (1695-1779) was a pioneer of clinical teaching in Edinburgh. He was elected FRCP in 1724, became Professor in the University in 1726, and was chair of the Practice of Medicine for forty years. From 1748 until his resignation in 1765 he gave clinical lectures in the Royal Infirmary, to which he would invite his students to bring patients. The present manuscript is probably a later transcript of one of these lecture series, made for circulation among medical students. Other manuscript copies of Rutherford's lectures are held by the Wellcome Institute, Edinburgh University, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Osler Library at McGill University.
"...[Prolegomena:] The method I propose to pursue is to examine every patient before you...I shall conduct this by a plan...1st I shall give you a History of the diseases in general. 2d Enquire into the causes of it. 3d Give you my own oppinion of it, how 'tis likely to terminate. 4th Lay down the indications of Cure...& when any new Symptoms, or contraindications, appear you shall have notice of 'em, that you may know my reasons for altering my Prescription, & lastly I shall point out the different methods of cure..."
The subjects of the forty lectures covered in this volume include melancholia, peripneumonia, palsy, concussion of the head, opthalmia, rheumatism, angina, epilepsy, ague and nervous fever.
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