In 1822, a fur trapper named Alexis St. Martin was accidentally gut-shot by a shotgun in Mackinac Island, Michigan. Near death, he was treated by William Beaumont, an Army physician who for much of his career had practiced medicine in Clinton County, New York. What followed was a remarkable chapter in medical history, one that resonates today.
The Clinton County Historical Association is set to host Dr. Paolo Fedi, who will discuss the lasting medical legacy of Beaumont, whose observations and experiments with St. Martin became the basis for much of modern gastroenterology, on March 25th, 6:30 pm at the Lake Forest Senior Living Community, located at 8 Lake Forest Dr. in Plattsburgh.
Dr. Fedi’s talk “William Beaumont and His Legacy in Medical History” will delve into the personality of the self-driven and mostly self-educated Beaumont; describe the peculiar circumstances that allowed him to study the physiology of the human stomach, as well as the results of his pioneering research; lay out the legacy of Beaumont and his findings; and discuss the ethical questions posed by his study of St. Martin.
The event is free and open to the public.
More information can be found on the Clinton County Historical Association website, or by calling (518) 561-0340.
Portrait of William Beaumont.
A version of this article first appeared on the Adirondack Almanack.