American Medical Biographies/Allen, Dudley Peter

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Allen, Dudley Peter (1852–1915)

Dudley Peter Allen, of Cleveland, Ohio, surgeon, teacher, writer, and a patron of art, was born in Kinsman, Ohio, March 25, 1852. His father and his grandfather were physicians. He graduated from Oberlin College, Ohio, in the class of 1875 and soon thereafter entered the Harvard Medical School, and in 1879 received from it his degree of M. D. He then spent a year as surgical house officer in the Massachusetts General Hospital, and on leaving that institution went to Europe where he passed two years or more attending medical and surgical lectures and clinics in Berlin, Vienna, London, Paris and other medical centres.

In 1883 he settled in Cleveland where he began a surgical career, which ultimately brought him to the front of his profession. He was early appointed to the department of surgery in the Western Reserve University, where in time he became professor of surgery and clinical surgery. He also joined the surgical staffs of a number of hospitals, but he served for the longest period at the Lakeside Hospital where ultimately he became surgeon-in-chief. His professional practice rapidly grew to large proportions, and he was frequently called for operations or consultations to distant parts of the state and even beyond it. During all this time he was a frequent contributor to medical literature, and an active supporter and a patron of the Cleveland Medical Library,—an institution which owes much to his able and generous support.

He held many honorary positions during his life. At one time he was president of the Ohio State Medical Society, and for a number of years was secretary, and finally president (1906–1907), of the American Surgical Association. About this time he was elected an honorary fellow of the Philadelphia Academy of Surgery, and later was awarded the degree of LL. D. from his own College (Oberlin). In 1910 he resigned all his medical positions, and with his wife (who before marriage was Miss Elizabeth S. Severance, of Cleveland) made a tour around the world.

During his busy professional life he had found time to interest himself in the fine arts, and when he was free to travel he indulged his ever increasing desire to see more of the world and he made valuable collections of paintings and engravings, and especially of old Chinese porcelains, in the knowledge of which he was a recognized expert. His comprehensive interest also included architecture, horticulture and music, and his knowledge and judgment in these specialties were astonishing in one whose life-work lay in other directions. Dr. Allen died suddenly in New York City on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 1915.