Biography of George Buchanan
George Buchanan, c 1891
George Buchanan (1827-1906) was the first Professor of Clinical Surgery at the University, occupying the chair from 1874 to 1900.
Buchanan was the son of the anatomist and University alumnus Moses Buchanan. He studied at the University, graduating MA in 1846, and at the University of St Andrews, graduating MD in 1849. During the Crimean War, Buchanan served as a Civil Surgeon with the British Army. In 1860 he was appointed Professor of Anatomy at Anderson's College and in August that year he was appointed visiting surgeon at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in preference to the other candidate for the position, Joseph Lister. He held the infirmary appointment until 1868, and from 1870 to 1874.
After his appointment to the University chair in 1874, Buchanan became visiting surgeon at the new Glasgow Western Infirmary. He was short in stature and is said to have operated while standing on a a section of tree trunk, which became known to his students as "Buchanan's Cheese". He was a pioneer of facial surgery and is also credited with carrying out the first ovariectomy in Glasgow.
Buchanan published his memoirs of his service in the Crimea as well as a number of medical studies. He was an editor of the Glasgow Medical Journal.
You can see a digitised version of his second volume of memoirs from the Crimea on the website of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow, here.