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William Alfred Fisher was born in Baltimore. He earned his A.B. in 1896 from Princeton University, and his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1900. In 1909, Fisher returned to Johns Hopkins as an instructor in surgery. By 1916, he was an instructor of clinical surgery as well as a staff surgeon for the Johns Hopkins Hospital. During World War I, he served 18 months in France as a consultant in general surgery for the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) and earned the Distinguished Service medal. During World War II, Fisher remained in Baltimore, continuing to work at Johns Hopkins and as the head of the city’s chapter of the American Red Cross. Throughout his career, Fisher served on the staffs of several Baltimore hospitals, including Union Memorial Hospital, Church Home and Hospital, Hospital for Women of Maryland, and Sinai Hospital. In 1945, he was named Associate Emeritus Instructor in Surgery for Johns Hopkins, a position he held until his death in 1956.

Scope and Content

The William Alfred Fisher Collection includes two diaries. The first (8 June-8 July 1911) describes a trip Fisher made, with William Halsted and others, to visit hospitals in Essendorf and Berlin, Germany, and Bern, Switzerland, to observe surgical procedures. Entries describe activities aboard ship en route from New York, and matters such as the physical facilities, surgical equipment, and procedures in various Euopean hospitals, frequently comparing techniques to those used in the U.S. This diary is accompanied by five items of related memorobilia. The second diary (August 1917-September 1918) describes Fisher’s experiences in France during World War I; it is shelved with other collections related to World War I.

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