The life and career of Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter


Guest: Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

[From the Radio Times archive] The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia is well-known for its bizarre collection of medical oddities and specimens. But few people know about the pioneering surgeon behind it. Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter was a gifted surgeon who practiced in 19th century Philadelphia at a time before anesthesia, when few physicians sterilized their hands or instruments, and when bleeding was still considered a cure. But Mutter was ahead of his time. He was a compassionate surgeon who developed techniques to mend people with deformities. Writer and poet CRISTIN O’KEEFE APTOWICZ has written a biography of Mutter and the important role he played in the history of medicine. Marty spoke with Aptowicz about her book Dr. Mutter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine in September.

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