Cleaveland: A medical advance based upon cruelty

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On April 17, following lengthy protests, New York City authorities ordered the removal of a statue of Dr. James Marion Sims from Central Park and its placement at his burial site in Brooklyn. The event reawakened memories of the controversial doctor.

I first learned of Sims in a ninth-grade civics class in South Carolina. He was extolled as one of the state's great men because of medical discoveries he made in the 19th century. In a subsequent lecture series on the history of medicine, Sims was described as "the father of modern gynecology." Condemnation of his actions arose much later.

photo Dr. Clif Cleaveland

Sims was born in South Carolina, educated at South Carolina College and began medical studies at Charleston Medical College.