The Douglas Guthrie Lecture

Speaker: Dr Stephen Craig (Assistant Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, USA)

Sir John Pringle was born in 1707. He studied medicine at the universities of Edinburgh and Leiden. During the War of the Austrian Succession, Pringle was made Physician General to the British Army and was appalled to see the huge number of deaths resulting not from casualties of battle but from diseases such as typhus and dysentery. He introduced a wide range of improvements which helped to reduce the appalling number of deaths from disease.

His book Observations on the Diseases of Army, brought him fame across Europe. He was made physician to King George III and was elected President of the Royal Society in London. Pringle left 10 volumes of medical annotations to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. He tells us in Volume 1 that his intention with these annotations is to preserve what he has found most useful in his practice.