Titanic Doctors

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Marie Peters

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I am finding this all very fascinating and an area I have never before explored.Dr.John Simpson was my great-uncle.Occasionally referred to within my family but with little information provided, apart from the Titanic link.Now keen to do my own family research
 

John B Martin

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Mar 9, 2012
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This is for Marie Peters. My great uncle John Simpson was married to Annie Peters. If Annie had a brother then John Simpson could have had nieces and nephews by marriage. Am I right?
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Lloret de Mar, Gerona (Spain)
The surgery is the room with the stairs
Actually the stairs were out of the room and brought you to the Hospital and Infectious Hospital on D Deck.

Is there a source out there that can tell me who the doctors of the classes were?
It's easier for me to just give you the answers. There were only two doctors for all classes and crew, Dr O'Laughlin (qualified as surgeon) and Dr Simpson (qualified as Assistant Surgeon). Of course also some of the passengers were doctors and have been occasionally consulted.

I wanted to ask questions about the daily routine of the doctors... Where would they eat?
And also, if they didn't have any sick patients to attend, what would they do all day?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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O'Laughlin dined with the 1st Class passengers, often at a 2-seater table with Bruce Ismay. Not sure about Simpson, but I'd guess he dined with the 2nd Class passengers. With more than 2,000 people on board it was probably a rare day when there were no patients needing attention, but the surgeons did have plenty of other work to do like the medical inspections required by law for 3rd Class passengers and the facilities provided for them on board. A major part of their duty was to ensure that potential risks to general health onboard (especially outbreaks of contagious disease) were quickly identified and confined. This involved inspection tours and lots of paperwork, including daily reports to the Captain.
 
Feb 21, 2013
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I'm not saying that there wouldn't be any passengers in need of care, but I very much doubt that they would require medical assistance for 16 hours a day (calculating 8 hours a day for each doctor) all days, so I figured they would still have a bunch of free time. But I didn't calculate the task to prevent potential infectious outbreaks on-board. Thanks!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Like any other medics, I daresay those two would have been theoretically on call 24 hours a day. Though there would have been no precise division of labour, it's likely O'Laughlin as the senior man would have spent most of his time working with the 1st and 2nd Class passengers and Simpson with the rest (and the crew).
 
Jan 5, 2019
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Sorry for resurrecting this topic, but does anyone know of the existence of any mention of Mr John Hugh Ross receiving some kind of medical care during the maiden voyage? It is known that he had been ill since January, settled normally in his cabin even though he had needed the help of a stretcher and that on the night of the shipwreck he was in his cabin, still in his pajamas, and probably died inside his cabin. Does anyone know if the doctor or his assistant came to consult him? He seemed too bad for me to board.
 

Brian Crowley

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Feb 25, 2019
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Hello, Bob. Thank you for that information, it really helped me with an article I was putting together. I would just like to add on to that interesting bit of information that there were 3 different hospitals on the Titanic. These divided the crew members, the third class, and the first/second class passengers from eachother. The crew hospital was located just under the forecastle deck on the bow. The third class hospital was located closer to the stern on the lower decks, and the first/second class hospital was located somewhat near the third class hospital but on the higher decks. yes, you were correct. The third class hospital was located on the stern, on D deck. The hospital for first/second class was located right near the third class hospital, and the surgery for first/second class was right above the first/second class hospital on C deck. I hope this helped.
 

Brian Crowley

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Feb 25, 2019
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Sorry, I don't know. I doubt there are even any records of it because if there were medical records of him on board, they went down with the ship. I know you probably don't want to hear what I have to say since I said I am not sure, but maybe you can try asking a historian or something.There could have been medical records of him from where ever he boarded. I am assuming what you said, he must have gone down with the ship because since it was such a panic and a hurry, there must have been no time to get him onto a stretcher and to safety. There wouldn't have been room on a lifeboat for a stretcher, nor time to get him off of it and into a boat. I am not very sure if they allowed sick people onto the boats if they were men, I am sure they allowed people who were very sick. He could have died in his cabin bed or in the hospital. I hope this answers your question.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Many years ago when this thread was new and none of us was very well-informed about shipboard medical facilities I suggested that the main hospital area on D deck was intended as a provision for 1st and 2nd Class passengers, possibly with the 'infectious hospital' section being intended for 3rd Class. I have long since discovered that the whole of the passenger hospital was a provision for 3rd Class passengers only, as demanded by the shipping regulations. There was no hospital for 2nd or 1st Class passengers, who would expect to be cared for in their own cabins. This was very much in line with the situation ashore, where hospitals were basically a charitable provision for the poor, while the better-off received treatment (including many areas of surgery) in the healthier environment of their own bedrooms at home.