Dr. Alfred William Pearson

Posted: May 22, 2008 in Dr. Alfred W. Pearson: Jack The Ripper
Part 1 of my report on Pearson’s qualifications as a Surgeon will commence with the examination questions posed to candidates on November 3rd, 1876:
 
The following were the questions submitted to the candidates at the primary examination for the diploma of membership of the Royal College of Surgeons on November 3rd:
 
Anatomy and Physiology:
 
1. State the facts and experiments which prove the existence of motor, sensory, and vaso-motor nerves.
2. Describe the mechanism and movements of respiration; and name the chief muscles and nerves concerned in the process.
3. Describe the os calcis and its articulations; mention the muscles attached to it.
4. Give the dissection requisite to expose the brachialis anticus, and mention the parts in relation with it.
5. Describe the formation of the superficial and deep palmar arches, their respective branches, and the dissection required to display them.
6. Describe the course and relations of the colon, including the caccum and sigmoid flexure, and the arteries by which it is supplied.
 
Candidates were required to answer four, including one of the first two, questions.
 
                                         The British Medical Journal November 18, 1876
 
At this time, I would like to remind my readers that Pearson was exempted from writing this examination, due to the fact that he was considered over-qualified for it. His examiners felt that he was knowledgeable in every aspect of anatomy surgery and physiology. Exemption is more often than not due to overexceeding the expectations of the examiners. For instance, when I was attending College I was exempt from continuing in the English course because I achieved a grade of 88 in the written examination beforehand. I was the only student who was exempted from the course.
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