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Andrew Watson
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Ward 1, Surgical Block

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Glasgow Royal Infirmary

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Ward 1, Surgical Block

A photograph of a boy patient in Ward 1 in Glasgow Royal Infirmary's Surgical Block, 1890. Gathered at the head of the bed are the resident Charles Fyfe and a group of nurses.

Residents were recently-qualified doctors who assisted the visiting surgeons and physicians in the wards. These junior members of staff were originally known as clerks at the Royal, but in 1862 became surgeons' and physicians' assistants. In 1888 they were renamed once more, when they became house surgeons and physicians.

A residency lasted twelve months, during which time each young doctor would assist a surgeon and a physician for six months. They lived in the Infirmary and received free bed and board, and their occasional high jinks in off-duty hours became the stuff of hospital legend. Many residents were invited to return to the Royal in later years as visiting surgeons and physicians.

Reference: RCPSG 28/27

Reproduced with the permission of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Keywords:
children, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, hospital wards, infirmaries, junior doctors, nurses, patients, resident surgeons, residents, Surgical Block, voluntary hospitals, women



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