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THEREVOLUTIONARYDECISIONWHICHSPARKEDASKEPTICALREACTIONAND THELANDMARKSURGERYWHICHMADE EPHRAIMMcDOWELLTHEFATHEROFOVARIOTOMY BrittanyWilharm SeniorDivision IndividualWebsite WordCount:500

WhilesearchingforpossibleNHDtopics,IfoundoutabouttheStatutoryHall collectioninDCandrealizedthatitslistofstatueswouldbeagoodplacetolook. Soon,IfoundEphraimMcDowellwhoperformedthefirstOvariotomy.Imnota scienceperson,andyetIfoundthestoryabsolutelyfascinating. InpastyearsofparticipatinginNHD,Ivecometorealizetheimportanceof firsthandresearch.IbegansearchingforillustrationsfrombooksMcDowellwould haveusedatEdinburghbycontactingtheUniversityofEdinburghLibrarysCentre forResearchCollectionwhoreferredmetotheLothianHealthServicesArchive.I receivedaresponsewiththenamesofbooksMcDowellsteacher,JohnBell,had written.Inaddition,IcontactedtheSecretaryoftheScottishSocietyoftheHistory ofMedicineaskingthesame.Ireceivedareplysayingthesecretarywasawareof thepioneeringsurgerybutwasnotanexpertonit,andthathewouldseeifanyof hisassociateswere.Ineverheardbackfromhim.IalsocontactedMcDowellHouse inKentuckywithsomepreliminaryquestionsbeforeschedulinganinterviewwhich Ifilmedandaddedtomywebsite.Finally,IsentaninquirytotheGovernorofKY, SteveBeshear,askingwhyhedeclaredDecember13thJaneCrawforddayand receivedareplyofexplanation.Inaddition,Ireadonlinebiographies,presidential addresses,medicaljournals,andnewspapers. Aswebsitehadbeenmymostsuccessfulcategoryinthepast,Idecidedonthat forthisyear.Plus,itwasthebestmediumtoshowMcDowell.Thefirstpartofmy siteIworkedonwastheheader.IchoseapaintingofDr.McDowell,amapofMrs. Crawfordsjourneysuturetotransitionacorsetwithaskeletontoshowearly gynecology,theprayerMcDowellheldinhispocketduringtheincision,andthe

medicalsymbol.FromthereItookatemplateandcustomizedtheHTMLtomakeit originalandtomyliking. Duetothehazardousnatureofsuchaprocedure,McDowellswasthefirstof itskind,or,eveninthemostheateddebates,thefirstofitskindthatwasdonewith theproperknowledgealreadyinstilledinthesurgeon.Itcouldbedebatedthatthere wasapreviousovariotomy,however,Ihardlyconsiderthistobecompetitionwith McDowellswork.Intheotheroperation,thedoctorfiddledaroundblindlyinside theabdomenofhispatient,mistakingbodypartsforeachother.McDowellwasable toanticipatewhathewouldfindafterhemadetheincisionduetohishigher educationatEdinburghandhisapprenticeshipunderamanwhoallowedhimto operateoncadavers.McDowellsoperationwasdocumentedcarefully,meticulously andcorrectly.McDowellavoidedpublishingtheaccountofhisprocedureforyears untilhehadperfectedthedetailssothattherewouldbenoroomforerrorby inexperiencedimitatingdoctors.Becauseofthisaccuratedocumentation,the revolutionaryprocedurewasabletoberecreated,savingcountlesslives.