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Professor Sir Alexander Ogston's MD gown, Edinburgh, Scotlan

Science Museum, London
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Credit: Professor Sir Alexander Ogston's MD gown, Edinburgh, Scotlan. Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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This academic dress was worn by Professor Sir Alexander Ogston (1844-1929) upon his graduation for the degree of medicine (MD). Ogston was a pioneering Scottish surgeon and bacteriologist. He was in charge of Aberdeen’s smallpox isolation hospital. He is best known for his discovery of Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium that causes carbuncles, boils, abscesses and most post-surgery wound infections. Formal qualifications in medicine became popular during the 1800s. Previously, many ‘doctors’ had had little or no formal training. An MD is such a qualification gained through an accredited university and is the degree given to a student of medicine. This wool gown was made by James Middlemass and Company for Aberdeen University about 1866. Upon graduation from medical school in the late 1800s, newly qualified doctors took the Hippocratic Oath. The oath was a guideline for the medical profession. It is not compulsory now, although many doctors still uphold this ancient tradition. maker: James Middlemass and Co. Place made: Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom


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