Elisha Bartlett, M.D.
- Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine, 1849-1850
Elisha Bartlett grew up in Rhode Island and studied medicine privately, then, after attending lectures in Boston and Providence, took his MD at Brown University in 1826.
He studied briefly in Europe, attending lectures by Cuvier, the French naturalist and founder of comparative anatomy.
He began teaching in 1832 and taught at the Berkshire Medical Institution, Dartmouth College, Transylvania University, the University of Maryland and Vermont Medical College before coming to the University of Louisville in 1849 as professor of the theory and practice of medicine.
Louisville medical politics were divisive at that time because of the founding of Kentucky School of Medicine in 1850, and he stayed only one session.
He moved to the University of New York, then to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York before he retired.
His work in fevers was well known in the mid-nineteenth century and he is noted for clearly distinguishing typhoid fever from typhus.
His more philosophical writings on certainty in medicine met with opposition, urging as they did that tradition should be abandoned unless supported by observation.
- Written by Daryll Anderson