Surgeon, Elected F.R.S.E. 4 May 1874.
Born in Edinburgh on 2 December 1837, the eldest son of Benjamin Bell, surgeon, Joseph was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and at the University where he graduated M.D. in 1859. He then worked as a hospital surgeon in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary being house- surgeon and assistant to John Syme and house-physician with John Gardiner, and a demonstrator of anatomy under John Goodsir. From 1847 to 1863 Bell lectured on Botany in the Andersonian School of Medicine in Glasgow and was lecturer of surgery at the extra-mural school of medicine in 1864, 1879, and in 1889. He was an excellent systematic teacher, always attracting large classes of students, but he was in his element as a clinical teacher, his theatre and wards being constantly crowded with students. He was also a very good diagnostician, and his often unexpected deductions were commemorated by one of his students, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who bases his world- famous detective Sherlock Holmes character on Bell. From 1873 he was for twenty-three years editor of the "Edinburgh Medical Journal" Although not a profilic writer, his manual of surgery was very successful, going through seven editions during his lifetime. Bell became the first surgeon to the Sick Children's Hospital of Edinburgh in 1887. He died in Edinburgh on 4 October 1911.
Honours and Distinctions
1876 Secretary and Treasures Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh .
1887 President, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
1897 President, Harveian Society, Edinburgh.
A manual of the operations of surgery for the use of senior students, house- surgeons and Junior practitioners (Edinburgh and London, 1866)
Notes on surgery for nurses (Edinburgh, 1887)
On the relations of the trained nurse to the profession and the
public (n.p., 1897)
Jaxby, J.M.E., Joseph Bell (n.p., 1913) Who`s Who, 1898, (London, 1898) Comrie, J.D., History of Scottish Medicine, 2, (London,1932), p.p. 454, 5009, 510, 629, 675, 685, 712, 772. World Who`s Who in Science, (Chicago, ), p.147
I am to tender thanks for Irene A.F.