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"The Doctor Flipped Off in His Surgery"

William Hogwarts

One of Hogwarts' infrequent departures from his favored engraving medium, it depicts a scene in the examining room of the the gifted but dreadfully deformed Dr Nasturtium Woodsduck, called "the quack," because of his odd physiognaphy  and Donald Duck-like speech defect. Dr Woodsduck discovered pregnancy in 1751, thus challenging the "Stork" and "Cabbage Leaf" schools of theoretical obstetrics. Although ridiculed at the time, his hypothesis was eventually proved correct, and by the end of his life he was knighted for his research and became known as Sir Doctor Quack, or more familiarly as "Big Bird."

In this painting, executed in 1743, we see Dr Woodsduck attempting to explain to the Marquis de Merqueri that his wife the Marquesess is 8 months pregnant with triplets. The Marquis mocks the doctor's outlandish diagnosis with an aristocratic British hand gesture usually reserved for insolent bootblacks. The couple's daughter, the Marquincess, was profoundly disturbed by the implication that she was not "ærily stork-borne" as the family's crest indicated. Dr Woodsduck was later sued for causing "profound mental distress" in the girl, and was given a license to practice medicine so that it could be revoked.

The upper New York State town of Woodsduck, site of a spectacular 2-day medical convention in 1969, was named in his honor.



Acquisition enabled in part by a grant from Cabbage Patch Kids™

Acquisition enabled in part by a grant from  Quackwatch℠


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