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Ten fun facts about William Harvey


1. The Man Who Discovered the Circulation of Blood

William Harvey, born on 1 April 1578 in Folkestone, was a renowned English physician and scientist who made significant contributions to the understanding of the circulatory system. He is best known for his discovery of the circulation of blood, which he published in his book, De Motu Cordis, in 1628. Harvey died on 3 June 1657, leaving behind a legacy of groundbreaking medical discoveries.

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2. The Father of Blood Flow

William Harvey was a revolutionary figure in the field of medicine, as he was the first to accurately describe the systemic flow of blood throughout the body. He discovered that the heart was the organ responsible for pushing blood to the rest of the body, and he was able to provide detailed information about the characteristics of the blood being pushed. This discovery was a major breakthrough in the understanding of the human body and its functions, and it has had a lasting impact on the field of medicine.

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3. The Man Who Revolutionized Medicine

William Harvey, the renowned English physician and scientist, was born in Folkestone, Kent in 1578. After his death in 1657, a hospital was built in his honour in Ashford, a town located just a few miles away from his birthplace. The William Harvey Hospital, which opened in 1972, is a major teaching hospital and is renowned for its excellence in healthcare.

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4. A Doctor of Medicine

At the tender age of 24, William Harvey graduated with a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Padua on 25 April 1602. This was a remarkable achievement for the young man, as the University of Padua was one of the most prestigious medical schools in Europe at the time. Harvey's graduation marked the beginning of a long and successful career in medicine, which would eventually lead to his groundbreaking discoveries in the field of anatomy and physiology.

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5. William Harvey's Obsession with Birds

William Harvey was a man of many passions. Not only was he an avid reader of literature, but he also had a deep love for birds. Whenever he had a free moment, he could be found observing them, taking in their beauty and studying their behavior. His devotion to birds was so strong that he often spent hours in the outdoors, watching them and learning more about them.

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6. William Harvey's De Motu Cordis

In 1628, William Harvey published his groundbreaking dissertation, De Motu Cordis, which revolutionized the understanding of the circulation of blood. This dissertation was the culmination of years of research and experimentation, and it provided a comprehensive explanation of the movement of blood through the body. Harvey's work was so influential that it is still used as the basis for modern medical understanding of the cardiovascular system.

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7. William Harvey, the Father of Circulation

William Harvey, the renowned English physician and scientist, was laid to rest in Hempstead, Essex after his death in 1657. His burial site is located in the churchyard of St. Andrew's Church, where he had served as a parishioner for many years. Harvey is best known for his groundbreaking work on the circulatory system, which revolutionized the field of medicine and science. His discoveries are still studied and referenced today, and his legacy lives on in the many medical advancements that have been made since his death.

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8. William Harvey's insomnia cured by long walks

William Harvey was a unique individual who was known for his sharp wit and accuracy. He was often so deep in thought that he would suffer from insomnia, which he would cure by taking long walks through his house. He was also known for his openness and directness in conversation, making him a great conversationalist.

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9. William Harvey, Physician Extraordinary to King James I

On 3 February 1618, William Harvey was appointed as the 'Physician Extraordinary' to King James I, a position that granted him the privilege of attending to the King's medical needs. In addition to his royal duties, Harvey also served various aristocrats, including the esteemed Lord Chancellor Bacon. This appointment was a major milestone in Harvey's career, and it allowed him to gain recognition and respect from the most influential figures of the time.

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10. William Harvey, Father of Modern Medicine

William Harvey obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Cambridge in 1604, and shortly after, on October 5th, he joined the College of Physicians in London, establishing himself as a prominent figure in the medical community. His contributions to the field of medicine have been highly influential, and his work on the circulatory system is still studied today.

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