Here’s a reprint from one of our newsletters:
Ila Malloy, webmaster of the Stoutenburgh-Teller website, forwarded to me a query from a direct descendant of Maud Stoutenburgh Eliot. Maud was one of the founders of the Stoutenburgh-Teller Family Association. This cousin wanted help with finding out more about her ancestors. I automatically thought of the Stoutenburgh Circles that Maud’s husband, Walter Graeme Eliot created. A bit of research revealed that Walter authored several non-fiction books such as “Portraits of Noted Physicians of New York 1750-1900” seen below.
My daughter is a medical student so my curiosity is peaked when I come across a family member having some connection to medicine. Thus, I found and read the book. Walter’s father, Augustus Eliot, was an obstetrician/gynecologist in the second half the 19th century in New York City. So I was not surprised to find that Walter had authored such a book. As I perused the book, I was struck at the number of physicians who had an MD and an LLD degree. Of the 199 physicians included in the book, forty-two had earned both degrees. That means that 21% of these physicians also had an LLD degree. I asked myself whether the physicians earned the law degree after becoming a physician or the other way around. More research showed that the LLD degree was earned later and the physicians never practiced law!
Two of the physicians in Walter Eliot’s book did not have an MD degree. Over the years as I researched my family history, I came across relatives who became doctors because they studied under another practicing physician. The more I researched the licensing of physicians prior to the 20th century, the more we all should be grateful that we are born after 1900!
Portraits of Noted Physicians of New York 1750-1900
Read the Full Book Below