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Thomas Bateman MD FLS 1778–1821

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Thomas Bateman was a physician to the Carey Street Public Dispensary with Robert Willan in the first decade of the nineteenth century when the latter was developing the classification that would act as a foundation for modern dermatology. Following Willan’s death with his work still incomplete, Bateman published a book, as an abstract of Willan’s full concept, which was probably the most influential dermatology text of the nineteenth century. This was the first classification of dermatology that precisely defined the terms used and fitted individual diseases into a single class, rather than considering different stages of the same disease as maladies that belonged in different classes. This was the first attempt to link treatment to the disease process rather than to the clinical appearances and thus represents the origin of modern scientific clinical dermatology.
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Keywords: Bateman; Willan; alopecia areata; contagiosum; epidemiology; history of dermatology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Dermatology Centre, The West Norwich Hospital, Norwich NR2 3TU, U.K.

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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