Joseph Thomas Clover - Career

Career

Clover became house surgeon to James Syme upon graduation in 1846. He became Resident Medical Officer at University College Hospital in 1848, and was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1850. Originally Clover developed an interest in the field of urology. He practised as a surgeon, inventing two instruments for the crushing and removal of bladder stones. Ill health caused him to give up in 1853 and he turned to general practice.

He then worked as a general practitioner in 1853. He set up his practice at 3 Cavendish Place, London, which became his home until his death in 1882.

After several years in general practice he devoted his practice to anaesthetics, and became "chloroformist" to the University College Hospital, the Westminster Hospital and the London Dental Hospital. Clover's choice of specialty helped to fill the vacancy created by the death of John Snow in 1858.

Clover was probably present at Robert Liston's first operation under ether anaesthesia at University College Hospital in December 1846.

Clover wrote in 1871 that he had given chloroform more than 7000 times, in addition to other anaesthetics in another 4000 cases, without a fatality. However, he lost a patient to chloroform under his hands in 1874. He described the case in the British Medical Journal.

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