Late one night in 1904, George Washington Crile was sitting up in his bed when he had an idea-a practical way to directly transfuse blood from one patient to another. As it happened, this idea would become the discovery of a lifetime and would affect millions of lives in years to come. George Washington Crile lived a momentous life, and is responsible for many great innovations in surgery. From his early schooling, through his final years, you will learn of his rise to the top of the medical profession.
George Washington Crile was born on November 11, 1864 in Chili, Ohio. George was the fifth of eight children born to his father, Michael Crile, and mother Margaret Crile. Michael Crile was a prosperous farmer of Scotch-Irish descent. His wife Margaret was Dutch. George received his pre-collegiate education in a one-room schoolhouse two miles from his home. Despite his humble beginnings, Crile showed extraordinary talent and in 1881 was accepted into Ohio Northern University. Crile diligently worked his way through college, teaching elementary school to foot the bill. His hard work paid off when he received his B.A. in 1884. After college, Crile decided to pursue higher education, and he entered the University of Wooster Medical Department to become a certified doctor. He received his M.D. with highest honors in July 1887.
After graduating from medical school, Dr. Crile served a one-year internship at the newly organized University Hospital in Cleveland, under the teaching of Dr. Frank C. Weed. Dr. Crile's interest soon turned to the study of surgical shock when a close friend, a student assistant in the hospital, was hurt in a car accident and died due to surgical shock after the amputation of both his legs. .
Watching his friend die changed George Crile. Over the next few years George Crile became intent on studying the physiological and emotional effects of surgery. He began his research abroad, working with the renowned British doctor, Victor Horsley.