THE SERVICE TO MEDICINE IN SIAM RENDERED BY His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol of Songkla, C. P. H., M. D. (Harvard)

Dr. Ellis, the first dean of Siriraj Medical School wrote this article about H.R.H. Prince Mahidol and his lifelong contribution to medicine and public health of Thailand. This was published by Johns Hopkins  Bulletin of the Institute of the History of Medicine, vol. 4, no. 2, 1936, pp. 165–198. 


The influence of His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol of Songkla upon medicine in Siam was many-sided and far-reaching. His financial contributions, his scholarships for study abroad, his staunch support of a high standard for medical education, his espousal of medical research, his keen interest in the training of nurses, his abiding belief in the value of child welfare work, his enthusiasm for the various phases of public health, his personal selection of medicine as a profession – all these are to be considered in a summary of his interests and accomplishments. And behind all these activities that had a direct bearing upon the health of his countrymen was the man himself. His dominant yet extremely modest personality, his charming manner, his high moral character, his innate kindness of heart, his admirable qualities as husband and father, all combined to make him a refined and distinguished and lovable gentleman, in the truest sense of that word. Any chronicle of his scientific and philanthropic achievements without reference to these personal attributes which dictated them would be one-sided and incomplete. Therefore the following pages not only attempt to describe the service to medicine rendered by Prince Mahidol; they also embody a personal appreciation of the man, arising from the great privilege of having been called his friend. One assumes a heavy responsibility in writing even a brief tribute to such a character. Would that my words were more fitting their task. May their weakness be partially compensated by the fact that they are written in all sincerity and humbleness, in admiration and profound respect.

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