Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott

African American Acting Surgeon, Freedman's Hospital 

By Robert G. Slawson, M.D., F.A.C.R.
Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott grew up in Canada. he attended Oberlin College in Ohio and returned to Toronto. Abbott spent four years apprenticed to Dr. Alexander T. Augusta and began medical school.
In 1861 he received a medical license from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. (This is the official name of the medical society of the province of Ontario).
In 1863 when Dr. Augusta [Dr. Alexander Thomas Augusta, the first African American to receive a commission in the Army) entered the Army, Dr. Abbott applied for military service. At that time he stated he would be receiving his Bachelor of Medicine degree from the University of Toronto in the spring of 1863.
In September 1863, Dr. Abbott was appointed Acting Surgeon and assigned to Freedman's Hospital. He worked in several hospitals serving colored troops and former slaves in Washington.
In 1866 Dr. Abbott returned to Canada and to his practice and training. He received a Bachelor of Medicine degree in 1867, not at the University of Toronto, but at the affiliated Toronto College of Medicine.
In 1869 Dr. Abbott became a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and, at one time, the President of the Kent County Medical Society. In 1874 he was appointed Coroner of Kent County.
FROM: "The Journal of Civil War Medicine", Vol. 7, No.2, April/May/June 2003


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