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The Works of William Harvey, MD.

Mark D. Altschule, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1966;118(5):514. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.00290170102032.
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William Harvey is usually thought of as having achieved his fame in 1628 with the publication of his Motion of the Heart and Blood. After that, according to popular belief, he rose to high position and acquired great wealth as one of the world's greatest medical scientists. This erroneous account of his professional life is to be derogated, not only because of its inaccuracies as such but also because it obscures some interesting aspects of the nature of medical fame.

In 1602 Harvey returned to England from Padua with his doctor's degree in medicine. He began the practice of medicine in London in the same year. He joined the College of Physicians in 1604 and after the usual probationary period of three years became a fellow in 1607. Two years later he applied for the position of physician to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. His petition was backed by strong letters of


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