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David Pitcairn (1749–1809) was born in Fifeshire and educated at Cambridge University. He was extremely successful in practice and colleagues often called on him for help in complex cases. He believed that the last thing a physician learns is to know when to do nothing and to give nature time to heal a disease naturally, and to restore the strength and health of the patient gradually. Pitcairn was a handsome man, with gentle and dignified manners and a kind heart, which often led him to treating patients without charge.
oil on canvas
H 76.2 x W 63.5 cm
bequeathed by Elizabeth Pitcairn, 1844