THIS DAY IN HISTORY MAY 17, 1749 : English surgeon Edward Jenner, who discovered (1796) the smallpox vaccine, was born in Berkeley, Gloucestershire.

English surgeon and discoverer of vaccination for smallpox . Jenner was born at a time when the patterns of British medical practice and education were undergoing gradual change. Slowly the division between the Oxford  or Cambridge trained physicians and the apothecaries or surgeons who were much less educated and who acquired their medical knowledge through apprenticeship rather than through academic work was becoming less sharp, and hospital work was becoming much more important.

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