Philip Syng Physick, MD
1768 - 1837
Philip Syng Physick attended prep school and went on to receive a bachelor of arts from the University of Pennsylvania.
He apprenticed in the office of Adam Kuhn (1741-1817), a respected local practitioner, for three years and received a master's degree. It was here that cadavers, a recurring motif in Physick's life, first came to the fore. Physick had to boil a cadaver for anatomy class. The experience left him so shaky that he begged out of the medical profession. His father, perhaps believing in the providence of his Christian name, made his boy stay in school and graduate.
In 1789, Physick traveled to London where he became a pupil of John Hunter (1728-1793) and a house surgeon at St George's Hospital. Three years later, after attending a course of instruction at the university in Edinburgh, Scotland, Physick received his medical