James Paget

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For the New Testament scholar, see James Carleton Paget. James Paget_sentence_0

Sir James Paget, 1st Baronet FRS HFRSE (11 January 1814 – 30 December 1899) (/ˈpædʒət/, rhymes with "gadget") was an English surgeon and pathologist who is best remembered for naming Paget's disease and who is considered, together with Rudolf Virchow, as one of the founders of scientific medical pathology. James Paget_sentence_1

His famous works included Lectures on Tumours (1851) and Lectures on Surgical Pathology (1853). James Paget_sentence_2

There are several medical conditions which were described and later named after Paget: James Paget_sentence_3

James Paget_unordered_list_0

Life James Paget_section_0

Paget was born in Great Yarmouth, England, on 11 January 1814, the son of Samuel Paget, a brewer and shipowner, and his wife, Sarah Elizabeth Tolver. James Paget_sentence_4

He was one of a large family, and his brother Sir George Edward Paget (1809–1892), who became Regius Professor of Physic at the University of Cambridge in 1872, also had a distinguished career in medicine and was made a K.C.B.. James Paget_sentence_5

James attended a day-school in Yarmouth, and afterwards was destined for the navy; but this plan was given up, and at the age of 16 he was apprenticed to a general practitioner, for whom he served for four and a half years, during which time he gave his leisure hours to botanising, and made a great collection of the flora of East Norfolk. James Paget_sentence_6

At the end of his apprenticeship, he published with one of his brothers a very careful Sketch of the Natural History of Yarmouth and its Neighbourhood. James Paget_sentence_7

In October 1834, he entered as a student at St Bartholomew's Hospital, in London. James Paget_sentence_8

Here he is noted to have described the first journal club. James Paget_sentence_9

Medical students in those days were left very much to themselves; there was no close supervision of their work, but Paget probably gained rather than lost by having to fight his own way. James Paget_sentence_10

He swept the board of prizes in 1835, and again in 1836; in his first winter session, he discovered the pathogen for trichinosis, a parasitic disease caused by Trichinella spiralis, a minute roundworm that infests the muscles of the human body, and which is usually acquired by eating infected pork. James Paget_sentence_11

In May 1836, he passed his examination at the Royal College of Surgeons, and became qualified to practice. James Paget_sentence_12

The next seven years (1836–1843) were spent in London lodgings, and were a time of poverty, for he made only 15 pounds a year by practice, and his father, having failed in business, could not give him any help. James Paget_sentence_13

He managed to keep himself by writing for the medical journals, and preparing the catalogues of the hospital museum and of the pathological museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. James Paget_sentence_14

In 1836, he had been made curator of the hospital museum, and in 1838, demonstrator of morbid anatomy at the hospital, but his advancement there was hindered by the privileges of the hospital apprentices, and because he had been too poor to afford a house-surgeoncy, or even a dressership. James Paget_sentence_15

In 1841, he was made surgeon to the Finsbury Dispensary, but this appointment did not give him any experience in the graver operations of surgery. James Paget_sentence_16

He was appointed lecturer on general anatomy (microscopic anatomy) and physiology at the hospital in 1843, and warden of the hospital college then founded. James Paget_sentence_17

For the next eight years, he lived within the walls of the hospital, in charge of about 30 students resident in the little college. James Paget_sentence_18

Besides his lectures and his superintendence of the resident students, he had to enter all new students, to advise them how to work, and to manage the finances and the general affairs of the school. James Paget_sentence_19

Thus, he was constantly occupied with the business of the school, and often passed a week, or more, without going outside the hospital gates. James Paget_sentence_20

In 1844, he married Lydia North (d.1895), youngest daughter of the Rev. James Paget_sentence_21

Henry North. James Paget_sentence_22

In 1847, he was appointed an assistant-surgeon to the hospital, and Arris and Gale professor at the Royal College of Surgeons. James Paget_sentence_23

He held this professorship for six years and each year gave six lectures in surgical pathology. James Paget_sentence_24

The first edition of these lectures, which were the chief scientific work of his life, was published in 1853 as Lectures on Surgical Pathology. James Paget_sentence_25

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1851. James Paget_sentence_26

In October 1851, he resigned the wardenship of the hospital. James Paget_sentence_27

He had now become known as a great physiologist and pathologist; he had done for pathology in England what Rudolf Virchow had done in Germany, but he had hardly begun to get into practice, and he had kept himself poor so he might pay his share of his father's debts, a task that took him 14 years to fulfill. James Paget_sentence_28

Paget was the father of Sir John Paget (2nd Baronet); the Rt Revd Dr Francis Paget, Lord Bishop of Oxford; the Rt Revd Dr Luke Paget, Lord Bishop of Chester; and Stephen Paget, an English surgeon who first proposed the "seed and soil" theory of metastasis. James Paget_sentence_29

Paget was friends with Charles Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley. James Paget_sentence_30

He was a committed Christian and maintained there was no conflict between religion and science. James Paget_sentence_31


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James Paget.