Reginald Heber Fitz

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Reginald Heber Fitz
Reginald Heber Fitz Ignaz Gaugengigl.jpg
Reginald Heber Fitz, portrait by Ignaz Gaugengigl
Died1913 (aged 69–70)

Reginald Heber Fitz (1843–1913) was an American physician.


Early life[edit]

Reginald Heber Fitz was born in 1843 in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He graduated in 1864 (M.D., 1868) from Harvard University. He also studied in Vienna, Berlin, and Paris.


He taught at his alma mater, Harvard University. He was instructor in pathological anatomy in 1870–1873, assistant professor in 1873–1878, and professor from 1878 to 1908. In the latter year, he became professor emeritus.

In 1886, he published “Perforating Inflammation of the Vermiform Appendix; With Special Reference to Its Early Diagnosis and Treatment”. This groundbreaking paper provided analysis of 466 cases of abdominal disorders that had previously been variously diagnosed and showed that they all involved a diseased appendix. He also introduced the term appendicitis. Dozens of names had previously been used for what had been thought to be a variety of diseases.

He also served as physician to the Boston Dispensary in 1871–1882 and to the Massachusetts General Hospital from 1887 to 1908. In 1894, he was president of the Association of American Physicians.


He died in 1913.


  • The Practice of Medicine (with Horatio C. Wood, 1897).
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. Missing or empty |title= (help)