medicine

Nathan Finkelstein and Eugene Weinberg: leading medical specialists

Yet another Beaufort Wester who has made a name for himself in medicine was Nathan Finkelstein, known throughout South Africa as Mr Pharmacy. Natie’s lifelong friend, Beaufort Wester Eugene Weinberg, went on to become one of South Africa’s leading paediatric allergists and head of the Department of Paediatrics at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in […]

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The “bossiedokters”

Medical men have played a vital role in the history of the Great Karoo, and some sons of this region have risen to great heights in medicine. The trekboers migrant farmers learned about medicinal plants from indigenous people and so it is not surprising that the initial healers were “bossiedokters”, who using veld plants and […]

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The curative powers of sheep

The Karoo is widely hailed as excellent sheep country. Its mutton is world famous and many people know sleeping on sheep skin prevents bed sores. Few, however, realise that sheep are surrounded by a great deal of folklore. Way back, the great Roman orator Pliny observed: “while oxen help us cultivate our fields, it is […]

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The Imperial Yeomanry Hospital, Deelfontein near De Aar

The stories of several “visiting” doctors are also woven into the chronicles of the Karoo. Several of these great medical men served at the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital at Deelfontein, near Richmond, during the Anglo-Boer War. Perhaps the greatest of them was Dr John Hall-Edwards, who headed the X-ray unit. Known as the “father of British […]

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Victor Dubowitz, pioneer in pedriatic medicine

Another Beaufort West shopkeeper’s son, who distinguished himself in medicine, was Victor Dubowitz. He pioneered major developments in pediatric neurology and made meaningful clinical and research contributions in the fields of neonatal neurology and neuromuscular disorders in children.  In 1965 he described a rare and difficult to diagnose, genetic disorder, which was named Dubowitz Syndrome […]

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William Gill of Somerset East: Doctor and botanist

Way back in the mid-1700s, a medical doctor, William Gill, came to practice in Somerset East; he turned his attention to botany and in time a major Eastern Cape college was established in that town and named Gill College in his honour. © Rose’s Roundup, April 2012. To subscribe to Rose’s Roundup, contact Rose Willis […]

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