by Mike

Also in the Pacific Medical and Surgical Journal, in 1864, appeared a piece entitled On the Treatment of Stricture of the Urethra by means of Subcutaneous Division (pages 285-288). There’s no listed author; though written in the third person, it seems to be a summary of one or more speeches by Dr. Henry Dick, eminent surgeon at the National Orthopaedic Hospital on Great Portland Street, London. Here is an 1878 monograph on the same topic, by the great man himself, which includes the text of his 1864 address to the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society.

Anyway, while scrolling randomly through the pdf, as one does, something stood out.


That’s right. This surgical procedure on the male urethra involved a device called *Dr. Dick’s grooved staff with a bulbous extremity*.

What we have here is an early case of nominative determinism at its best.

This is pretty far afield from the supposed focus of this blog, but I couldn’t resist.