Sims, James Marion

Sims, James Marion, 1813–83, American gynecologist and surgeon, b. Lancaster co., S.C., M.D. Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, 1835. He initially practiced in Mt. Meigs and Montgomery, in Alabama, and then (1853) in New York City and later in Europe. Regarded as the founder of modern gynecology, he introduced new operations and instruments (including a vaginal speculum) and wrote the important Clinical Notes on Uterine Surgery (1866), but the fact that his work was based on experimental surgery involving enslaved African-American women has tarnished his reputation. In 1855 he founded Woman's Hospital in New York City; he advocated the establishment (1884) of New York Cancer Hospital.

See his autobiography (1884).

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