Quiz about John Hunter Surgeon
Quiz about John Hunter Surgeon

John Hunter (Surgeon) Trivia Quiz


This is a quiz about the eighteenth-century surgeon and anatomist John Hunter. Although Scottish by birth, he spent his working life in England. It makes reference to John's elder brother William, and remarks on medical history pertain to Great Britain

A multiple-choice quiz by Charlesw321. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
Charlesw321
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
352,090
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
164
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. John Hunter was born in 1728 in Scotland. Where?

Hint

Colinton, Edinburgh
Long Calderwood, Lanarkshire
Kelvinside, Glasgow
West Linton, Peebleshire

2. What was John initially trained as? Hint

A furniture maker
A veterinary surgeon
A dentist
A naval officer

3. When he was 20, John left Scotland and went to join his elder brother William in London. What did he do then? Hint

He set up in medical practice
He worked as an apothecary (chemist)
He joined the Army as a surgeon
He became William's assistant

4. At which London hospital did John receive his surgical training? Hint

St George's
Guy's
Royal London Hospital
St Thomas's

5. William Hunter earned his doctorate in medicine from the University of Glasgow in 1750. Where did John receive his medical degree? Hint

The University of Oxford
John Hunter never gained a medical qualification
The University of Glasgow
The Royal Society of London

6. Between 1760 and 1763, John served as an Army surgeon in France and Portugal. He then returned to London and worked in a somewhat unusual medical field. What was it? Hint

The transplantation of teeth
Homeopathy
Acupuncture
The use of electricity in medicine

7. As his brief career at Oxford demonstrated, John was an eminently practical man. He once replied to a theoretical question 'I think your solution is just, but why think? Why not try the experiment?'
What unfortunate experiment is it believed that he performed upon himself?
Hint

He inoculated himself with syphilis
He tested chemicals for their anaesthetic properties
He asked a colleague to remove one of his kidneys.
He tried the effects of hallucinogenic drugs

8. One of Hunter's students in anatomy and surgery was Edward Jenner. What immunological discovery is he famous for? Hint

Vaccination against tetanus
Vaccination against anthrax in cattle
Vaccination against smallpox
Vaccination against rabies

9. It has been suggested that John Hunter was the inspiration for another, fictional, medical man. Who was this? Hint

Dr Watson (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Dr Fu Manchu (Sax Rohmer)
Dr Finlay (A.J. Cronin)
Dr Jekyll (R.L. Stevenson)

10. John Hunter was buried at St Martin's in the Fields in London, but in 1859 his remains were reinterred in Westminster Abbey. A brass plaque in the Abbey reads:
'The Royal College of Surgeons of England have placed this tablet over the grave of Hunter, to record their admiration of his genius as a gifted interpreter of the Divine Power and Wisdom at work in the Laws of Organic Life, and their grateful veneration for his services to mankind as the Founder of Scientific Surgery.'
How was Hunter remembered by his colleagues and friends?
Hint

As an iron fist in a velvet glove - a gentle manner concealing a determined personality
As a Scrooge-like character - cold-hearted, selfish and tight-fisted
As a 'rough diamond' - openly rude and repellent, but inwardly kind and generous
As a Peter Pan - boastful, careless of others, vain and cocksure


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. John Hunter was born in 1728 in Scotland. Where?

Answer: Long Calderwood, Lanarkshire

Long Calderwood was a farm owned by the Hunter family. The building still stands, and was home to a Hunter Museum. It was closed because of funding cuts by the local council in 2011. The exhibits have been removed 'for safe keeping'.
Virtually nothing is known about John's early life, and even his birth date is uncertain. It is variously given as February or July 1728. He was the youngest of ten children, three of whom had died before he was borne.
2. What was John initially trained as?

Answer: A furniture maker

John was described as a dull pupil and left school after his father died when he was thirteen. We know that he helped his brother-in-law as a cabinet-maker and showed dexterity in handling tools, and that appears to be the only early training that he received.
3. When he was 20, John left Scotland and went to join his elder brother William in London. What did he do then?

Answer: He became William's assistant

Having had virtually no education, John was unfit for any career. However, while staying with William he showed an uncanny aptitude for the dissection of cadavers and started to assist his brother in his school of anatomy, where he was soon running practical classes. He did in fact become an Army surgeon later in his career.
4. At which London hospital did John receive his surgical training?

Answer: St George's

St George's Hospital was founded in 1733, and in Hunter's time occupied a site at Hyde Park Corner in what was then open countryside.
John Hunter entered St George's as a pupil in 1754, where he studied under the surgeon William Cheselden, Cheselden was noted for his lateral lithotomy operation for the removal of bladder-stones. He could perform this treatment in about a minute, which minimised surgical shock and resulted in an astonishingly low mortality rate (for the period) of about 50%.
Hunter was also taught by Percivall Pott, who was on the staff of St Bartholomew's Hospital. Pott was a pioneer of orthopaedic surgery, although it is not true that he himself experienced the ankle fracture which bears his name. He was also the first to demonstrate the correlation between environmental pollution and cancer (the incidence of scrotal carcinoma caused by soot among chimney sweeps).
John was later appointed a surgeon to St George's.
The others listed were all contemporary London hospitals. The Royal London Hospital was founded in 1740 and was originally named The London Infirmary. The name changed to The London Hospital in 1748, and to the Royal London in 1990. Guy's was founded in 1721 by Thomas Guy, a publisher. St Thomas's dates to the 12th century and was originally run by an order of monks. It is named after St Thomas Becket. All four hospitals are flourishing in the 21st century.
5. William Hunter earned his doctorate in medicine from the University of Glasgow in 1750. Where did John receive his medical degree?

Answer: John Hunter never gained a medical qualification

In 1755 William sent John to Oxford University to acquire a formal medical education, but the academic life held no interest for him, as he found it pretentious and irrelevant, particularly the emphasis on theory. (Later, showing the father of a new student around his dissecting-room, he pointed out some cadavers and said, 'These are the books your son will learn under my direction, the others are fit for very little.') He left Oxford within two months to resume his dissection work with William and his own original experimentation.
In the Middle Ages and later such surgery as could be done was carried out by barbers. This was recognised in 1540 when Henry VIII granted a charter to the Company of Barber-Surgeons; this is reason behind the barber's traditional red and white pole. Disdain from the medical profession caused the surgeons to form their own guild (the Company of Surgeons) in 1745. At that time a surgeon did not require a medical qualification, but served an apprenticeship under a master surgeon. Although a medical degree became a requirement during the nineteenth century, this is why practitioners in Britain who have attained their higher surgical qualifications are still referred to as 'Mr', 'Mrs' or 'Miss', whereas physicians retain the title of 'Dr'.
The prestigious Royal Society, to which John was elected in 1767, has no power to grant degrees.
6. Between 1760 and 1763, John served as an Army surgeon in France and Portugal. He then returned to London and worked in a somewhat unusual medical field. What was it?

Answer: The transplantation of teeth

For five years from 1763 John Hunter worked in partnership with the fashionable London dentist James Spence in the transplantation of sound teeth from one patient to another. Although he did not invent the idea, he made advances in the technique, some of his transplanted teeth surviving for up to six years.

In 1778 he published his book 'The Natural History of the Human Teeth', which is based partly on this work but mainly on his previous anatomical research. His Army career gave him material for another book, 'Treatise on the Blood, Inflammation, and Gunshot Wounds', which was published in 1794, the year after his death. As far as can be learnt, he did not work in the other fields.
7. As his brief career at Oxford demonstrated, John was an eminently practical man. He once replied to a theoretical question 'I think your solution is just, but why think? Why not try the experiment?' What unfortunate experiment is it believed that he performed upon himself?

Answer: He inoculated himself with syphilis

John was interested in venereal diseases (now known as sexually transmitted diseases), which were rife in his time. Only gonorrhea ('the clap') and syphilis were recognised. Without going into detail, both ailments are serious, and syphilis is a killer. The medicines used in the eighteenth century (mercury and cauterisation) treated the symptoms rather than the disease.
It is said that in 1767 John Hunter inoculated himself with matter from a genital lesion on a prostitute to see the effects. Unfortunately the donor suffered from both syphilis and gonorrhea, and the resultant signs and symptoms led him and others to believe that there was only one 'venereal poison'. This error was not corrected until over fifty years later. Illnesses suffered by John in later life are consistent with his being a sufferer from syphilis, although some modern medical historians have disputed this.
He certainly did not ask a colleague to perform a nephrectomy on him! The first successful operation of this type was carried out in 1869. Again, there is no evidence for the other two.
8. One of Hunter's students in anatomy and surgery was Edward Jenner. What immunological discovery is he famous for?

Answer: Vaccination against smallpox

Before Jenner's work on smallpox, the only method of safeguarding against the disease was 'variolation', which is the introduction of the smallpox virus into the patient's bloodstream to induce an infection which is then treated under controlled conditions. Although the patient became resistant to further smallpox infection, this method was uncertain and dangerous as it caused the very disease it was designed to prevent.
Jenner took note of the common rural belief that milkmaids were generally unaffected by smallpox and theorised that this immunity was due to the similar but much less virulent disease cowpox, which was an occupational hazard for milkmaids. He followed Hunter's advice and 'tried the experiment', inoculating a young boy with pus taken from the cowpox blisters of a milkmaid (who had contracted the disease, if you're interested, from a cow called Blossom) and later infected him with smallpox material. No disease resulted. It was some years before Jenner's results were fully accepted, but eventually his methods were universally adopted.
Vaccination against anthrax in cattle was introduced by Louis Pasteur in the 1870s and in 1885 he carried out the first vaccination against rabies.
Anti-tetanus vaccination was developed by the German von Behring in 1890.
9. It has been suggested that John Hunter was the inspiration for another, fictional, medical man. Who was this?

Answer: Dr Jekyll (R.L. Stevenson)

Hunter's anatomy school required a great number of corpses for dissection, and these were obtained in a variety of ways - from hospitals, workhouses and the gallows and possibly by other, more sinister, means. His house in Leicester Square had two entrances. One, where he greeted his patients and guests, led to the reception rooms, while there was a rear door on a separate street which gave access to the dissection rooms and provided the route for their raw material.

This description echoes that of the house in the story of 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', in which the respectable Dr Jekyll used one entrance to the house and the evil Hyde the other, less prominent, one.

In addition, Stevenson describes Dr Jekyll as having bought his house 'from the heirs of a celebrated surgeon'. No connection has been made with any of the other three medicos.
10. John Hunter was buried at St Martin's in the Fields in London, but in 1859 his remains were reinterred in Westminster Abbey. A brass plaque in the Abbey reads: 'The Royal College of Surgeons of England have placed this tablet over the grave of Hunter, to record their admiration of his genius as a gifted interpreter of the Divine Power and Wisdom at work in the Laws of Organic Life, and their grateful veneration for his services to mankind as the Founder of Scientific Surgery.' How was Hunter remembered by his colleagues and friends?

Answer: As a 'rough diamond' - openly rude and repellent, but inwardly kind and generous

Hunter's outward personality was rough and abrasive, particularly in later life when he suffered from angina pectoris. He once said 'My life is in the hands of any rascal who chooses to annoy or tease me', and in fact died of an attack brought on by rage at a meeting at St George's Hospital. Nonetheless he was unflagging in his care of his patients, fond of animals and did all he could to help young and struggling colleagues.

He gave his surgical services free of charge to the poor and to professional authors and artists.
Source: Author Charlesw321

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