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Citadel News Service

For Release
Oct. 15, 2004

 Citadel professor named to ancient guild

           The Society of Apothecaries of London has granted faculty status in its department of the History and Philosophy of Medicine to Citadel English professor Philip W. Leon.

           The Society of Apothecaries was incorporated as a City Livery
Company by royal charter from James I on December 6, 1617. It is the oldest extant guild in London and has been licensing doctors to practice medicine since 1815 as a member of the United Examining Board.

           "I was conducting research for a talk on the British poet John Keats who was licensed as a surgeon-apothecary in 1816," Leon said. "When I learned that the Society has an academic department that administers examinations to medical students for a diploma in the history and philosophy of medicine, I sent them my credentials and was granted faculty status." He learned of his appointment this month.

           As a faculty member, Leon will contribute questions in literature and medicine to the diploma course examinations conducted by the Society.

           "I hope to be invited to deliver one of the eponymous lectures held six times each year at the Apothecaries Hall in Blackfriars Lane in the center of London," he said. "The Blackfriars has special meaning for me because this became the site of Shakespeare's performing company in 1608. The Apothecaries Hall has been continuously at that location since 1632."

           Leon has published a book on Sir William Osler, the most famous medical doctor in the English-speaking world at the turn of the last century. Leon is a member of the American Osler Society, an international organization of medical humanists with membership strictly limited to 75. He has lectured at the Royal College of Physicians in London, at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh and at the American College of Physicians meeting in San Francisco.

           In Charleston, he is a member of the Robert Wilson Medical History Club, founded in 1925. He is also on the executive committee of the Waring History Library and regularly speaks to the Student Medical History Club Library at the Medical University of South Carolina. Leon holds the Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University and is the author of five books. He has taught at The Citadel since 1975.

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