Medicine and the Egyptian Campaign: The Development of the Military Medical Officer during the Napoleonic Wars c. 1798-1801
CBMH/BCHM / Volume 27:2 2010 / p. 321-342
This article investigates how French and British army medical officers in Egypt at the turn of the 19th century were affected by campaign experiences. Their encounters with ophthalmia, plague, and other diseases influenced the practice of medicine in later campaigns and fostered the development of the idea amongst military practitioners that military diseases required specialised knowledge. Practitioners’ campaign writings are used to demonstrate how British army doctors approached the investigation of the “new” diseases they encountered. In particular, the article focuses on how Dr. James McGrigor used the military system to control, direct, and disseminate the development of medical knowledge.