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Edward Wyllys Andrews, MD, FACS, 1856-1927

Edward Wyllys Andrews, MD, FACS, 1856-1927

Edward Wyllys Andrews, MD, FACS, was a close associate of American College of Surgeons founder Franklin Martin, MD, FACS, from their student days at the Chicago Medical College. However, Dr. Andrews may be best known as one of the founders of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago.

Born in Chicago, Dr. E.W. Andrews was the son of Edmund Andrews, MD, a widely respected professor of medicine at the Chicago Medical College. Dr. E.W. Andrews graduated from Northwestern University as valedictorian of his class of 1881, after winning several prizes for his excellence in Latin and public speaking. In 1883, he graduated from Chicago Medical College, which later became Northwestern University Medical School, and in that same year became one of the founders of the Chicago South-Side Medico-Social Society along with Dr. Martin. Dr. Andrews was a founder and organizer of both the American College of Surgeons and the National Board of Medical Examiners. He became a Fellow of the American Surgical Association, the Society of Clinical Surgery, the Chicago Surgical Society, and various other surgical societies, for several of which he served as president. He spent his career at what became Northwestern University Hospital, but also had appointments at Michael Reese, Hospital Mercy Hospital, Cook County Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospital.

A prolific writer on surgical topics encompassing the entire human body, he is widely remembered for the “Andrews’ imbrication operation,” which he devised for inguinal hernia repair. Andrews was a member of the Chicago Literary Club, and an avid Shakespeare scholar, as well as a student of botany and geology.

Dr. Martin credits Dr. E.W. Andrews with introducing him to Isabelle Hollister, the daughter of another eminent professor at their medical school. She became Dr. Martin’s wife and Dr. Andrews was an usher at their wedding.

ACS Archives Highlights is a series showcasing the vibrant history of the American College of Surgeons, its members, and the history of surgery. For further information on our featured highlights, search the Archives Catalog or contact the ACS Archivist.