Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Robert Willan: Father of modern dermatology

Robert Willan (12 November 1757 – 7 April 1812) in general is considered to be the father of modern dermatology. He was born at The Hill, near Sedbergh in Yorkshire, England.

He received his early education in the grammar-school of his native place. He began his medical training in Edinburgh in 1777, studying medicine under William Cullen and other teachers at the university. After the usual residence of three years Willan received his MD in Edinburgh in 1780 for a thesis on inflammation of the liver.
Willan is recognized for bringing order to the discipline of dermatology with his classifications and descriptions of skin lesions. He grouped skin disorders in eight categories, based on the morphology of skin lesions.
Willan described the morphology of skin disease in detail, such as type of lesion, the shape and size, presence or absence of umbilication, redness, cooler, consistency, pattern of distribution, etc.  These he codified his very successful treatise On Cutaneous Diseases.
Robert Willan: Father of modern dermatology

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