Lynda Payne publishes new book about “the best surgeon” in 18th century England.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s History Department is proud to announce the publication Professor Lynda Payne’s new book, The Best Surgeon in England: Percivall Pott, 1713-88, about the influential English surgeon Percivall Pott, whose practice of surgery was praised for being methodical, skilled and measured.
Payne, a specialist in the history of science and medicine, challenges the belief that the practice of surgery prior to the invention of general anesthesia was “a realm of screaming patients and larger than life eccentric medical men whose primary aims were to operate as fast as possible.” The goal of her new book is to humanize and historicize medical practices by looking at the biography of this landmark teacher and practitioner.
“I wanted to write this book about Pott because his long career of teaching and treating patients straddled the era when barber-surgeons aspired to become professional surgeons,” Payne said.
According to The University of Kansas Medical Center Professor Christopher Crenner, “Payne has achieved a remarkable reconstruction of elite hospital surgery as it existed before the advent of anesthesia and antiseptic technique.”