Parker, Willard

Parker, Willard

(1800–84) surgeon; born in Lyndeborough, N.H. He switched from the ministry to medicine and took his medical degree at Harvard (1830). He settled in New York City where he developed a large practice and inspired students at the College of Physicians and Surgeons (1839–70). Noted for his bold operations, he was the first American to operate successfully on an abscessed appendix (1867). He also supported the temperance and public health movements.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.