- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Alfred Poland

Born  1822
Died  1872

Related eponyms

English surgeon, born 1822, London; died August 21, 1872.

Biography of Alfred Poland

Alfred Poland was born in London in 1822 and educated in Paris and Frankfurt. In 1839 he was became an apprentice of Charles Aston Key (1798-1849) at Guy's Hospital, London, and, in 1845, after qualification, he became demonstrator of anatomy. He had then been a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England since 1843, becoming a fellow in 1847.

In 1849 Poland became assistant surgeon at Guy's Hospital. Following the death of Bransby Blake Cooper (1792-1853) he took over Cooper’s lectures on surgery. He was elevated to the rank of surgeon in 1861, when, after the retirement of France, he took charge of the ophthalmology department. He also held an appointment at the Royal Ophthalmic Hospital, Moorfields.

In 1867 chronic cough ascribed to exposure of infection in the ward forced Poland to cease lecturing and thereafter his health gradually declined. He lived his last years retired in Blackheath with his father. Poland died in 1872 at the age of 51 of "consumption of the lungs" (pulmonary tuberculosis).

We thank Patrick Jucker-Kupper for information submitted.


  • On the nerves of the orbit in mammalia and man.
    (This work earned him an extraordinary three year prize from the College of Surgeons.
  • Injuries and wounds of the abdomen.
    Earned him the Fothergill medal from the Medical Society of London in 1853.
  • Gunshot wounds and their treatment.
    Earned him the Jacksin Prize from the College of Surgeons in 1857.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.