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Pediatrician Named Trent Professor for the History of Medicine


Duke Health News 919-660-1306

DURHAM, N.C. –- Dr. Peter English, a pediatrician and historian for the past 20 years at Duke University, has been named the Josiah Charles Trent associate professor of the history of medicine at Duke.

English, 51, joined the Duke faculty in the departments of pediatrics and history in 1978 and since that time he has written books on the history of surgical shock and several articles on the history of child abuse. He has just completed a book on the history of rheumatic fever and is starting another on the history of antibiotics.

As the Trent chair, he will be able to concentrate his time on writing and other historical pursuits. The appointment of English is for a three-year term.

The endowment that supports the chair was established by Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, trustee emeritus of Duke University, and her husband, Dr. James H. Semans, professor emeritus of surgery. The original endowment has been supplemented by gifts over the years from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the Josiah Charles Trent Foundation.

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