Beyond the name
Names of medical syndromes fall off our tongues as we use them everyday. But who were the people who gave their names to them? Sammy Radstone looks into a few
John Down was born in Cornwall to an Irish-Cornish family in 1828. His scientific interest began as a child and progressed when he left school at the age of 13 to help his father in the pharmacy business. He moved to London at 18 to work as surgeon's assistant in Whitechapel. Down remained there for only a few months because he found work at the laboratories of the Pharmaceutical Society in Bloomsbury Square, London.
Down entered London Hospital Medical School at the age of 25. He excelled as a student and was predicted a brilliant career as a hospital doctor by his teachers. However, he surprised everyone by taking a post at the Earlswood Asylum for Idiots in Surrey in 1858. The next year Down was elected as an assistant doctor to the London Hospital and spent the next decade sharing his time between the two institutions.
Down's definitive monograph,