David John Thomas, F.R.C.S.(1813-1871), A Founder of Victorian Medicine

1. David M. O'Sullivan
2. Australasian Medical Publishing Company Limited
Biography of Dr David John Thomas in booklet form, reprinted from the Medical Journal of Australia, June 30, 1956.
David John Thomas LSA, MRCS, MD, FRCS (1813 – 1871) was a ship surgeon, he settled in the Port Phillip district in 1839. He entered into a medical partnership with Dr Farquhar McCrae. Thomas was among the first elected honorary surgeons at Melbourne Hospital before it opened in 1847. He is recognized as the first doctor to use ether in Victoria for removal of a forearm on 2 August 1847 as well as the first use of chloroform .There’s a suggestion that Thomas was prone to ‘indulgence in …jocularity’ (practical jokes) and drink. In 1853 Thomas and his family returned to Britain, gained a MD at St Andrew’s and Fellowship at the Royal College of Surgeons. Returned to Melbourne in 1859;Thomas was re-elected surgeon at Melbourne Hospital in 1860 and President of the Medical Society in Victoria in 1864.

Object detail

paper, ink
21.6 x 13.9 cm
Accession Number
Credit line
Gift of AMA Victoria, 2011
Object Type
Named Collection
Medical History Museum Category


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