Alfred W Adson 1887-1951 

Alfred Washington Adson was born at Terrill, Iowa in 1887, his parents immigrated to the United States from Norway.

Adson attained his degree in 1912 and his M.D in 1914 and M.A. in 1918

He entered the Mayo clinic in July 1914 where he was invited to develop a section of neurological surgery. He became a substantive member of staff on January 1, 1917

He became one of the world’s leading authorities on neurosurgery and Adsons sign is still used to diagnose a particular syndrome.

(Thoracic outlet Syndrome)

He was a First Lieutenant in the Medical Reserve Corps of the US Army during WW1. After the war, he continued to be head of the Section of Neurological surgery at the now famous Mayo Clinic, until 1946 when he was appointed to senior consultant in the same section297

He was president of the Society of Neurological Surgeons in 1932 and 1933, of the Minnesota State Medical Association in 1937, the Minnesota State Board of Medical Examiners in 1938 and 1943, the Minnesota Neurological Society in 1941, and of the North Central Medical Conference in 1948.

This surgeon who is known to us mainly by the instrument named after him (Adsons dissecting forceps + others)




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The History of Surgery and Anaesthesia was created as a free resource to educate Students or indeed anyone wishing to understand the beginings of surgery and Anaesthesia.

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