One of America’s greatest surgeons and gynecologists, Howard Atwood Kelly was one of the “big four” who led the Johns Hopkins Medical School from its inception to a leading institution of the world. He was also a devout, Bible-believing Christian who put its teachings into the fabric of his life.
Dr. Kelly’s heart-warming story is told wonderfully in Christian Men of Science by George Mulfinger and Julia Mulfinger Orozco (see Baptist Books). The story of a man who simultaneously was an authority on snakes and on women’s diseases and who spent a year as a cowboy in Colorado has to be interesting! Readers are encouraged to order this book to learn about Howard Atwood Kelly and 10 other great Christians in science “who changed the world” with their discoveries.
For now, a few snippets of information about our featured scientist might tempt you to add this book to your library. Howard A. Kelly had a life-long fascination with nature, including snakes, turtles, bugs and other creatures which he liked to collect. His parents steered his youthful curiosity toward a career more likely to provide a good income—medicine. Good thing they did; Kelly became one of the most sought-after physicians and surgeons in the world. His skill as a teacher was equal to his reputation as a surgeon. It influenced a generation of gynecologists to come.
Born just a year before Darwin published the Origin, Dr. Kelly lived during the period of the rise of scientific skepticism but also that of the revolutionary germ theory of disease. He learned the new antiseptic techniques coming from the work of Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister. Soon, though, he preferred asepsis – preventing germs through hygiene – to antisepsis, the mere killing of germs with chemicals. His fastidious cleanliness and his skill with the scalpel gave him a high success rate. He performed a successful Caesarian section and helped make the risky procedure much more reliable. For many years, C-sections usually proved fatal to both mother and child. The previous successful operation had been 50 years prior. Dr. Kelly was determined to improve the situation; he studied the German methods, and greatly increased the survival rate. Women saved by his techniques filled his files with thank-you letters….
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