Thursday, October 6, 2011
Dr. Thomas Harris, Chief of BUMED (1844-1853)
Thomas Harris (1784-1861) was a surgeon during the War of 1812, participating in the battle between USS Wasp and HMS Frolic. He also served with Stephen Decatur fighting the Barbary pirates. Dr. Harris organized and conducted a medical postgraduate school in Philadelphia, the first American school to provide instruction in naval medicine and the precursor of the Naval Medical School. As the second Chief BUMED, Dr. Harris encouraged high standards for physicians admitted to the Navy, and helped systematize the production and procurement of drugs and dressings for the Navy Medical Department.