Medicine as a Calling

in Inventing Chemistry

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226677606
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226677620 | DOI:
Medicine as a Calling

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This chapter describes the development of Herman Boerhaave's basic approach to medicine and chemistry by reviewing his education as a student at the University of Leiden and then his early program for curriculum reform as a lecturer on the Leiden medical faculty. Within the University of Leiden community, Boerhaave's reputation as both a model Calvinist and a Hippocratic physician had a rhetorical role during his medical career. In his “Commentariolus,” he suggested that he was largely self-taught in theology and medicine, and successfully utilized his appointment as lecturer as a gateway for an appointment to a chair on the medical faculty. Boerhaave's strong advocacy of Hippocrates was a means of validating certain modern medical practices. In general, his success as a medical lecturer at Leiden relied on his ability to attain the support of the curators and the students at the university.

Keywords: medicine; chemistry; Herman Boerhaave; education; University of Leiden; Leiden medical faculty; Commentariolus; theology; Hippocrates

Chapter.  9623 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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