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The history of Arizona's physicians is rich in mystery, controversy, innovation and pride. Since the settlers first inhabited the territory, physicians have been a part of Arizona's legacy. They helped shape the culture of this Great State and set the standard for the quality of care delivered to its citizens. The Physicians of Interest page on this website highlights the historical work of Arizona's physicians and the roles they played while shaping the State's future. The biography of a new physician will be added each month and in time, the page will represent a patchwork of the names and faces that brought medicine in Arizona to life.

Ancil Martin, M.D.

In 1903, Alexander O. Brodie, Governor of the Territory of Arizona, approved an Act of Legislative Assembly entitled "An Act to Regulate the Practice of Medicine". This act created the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners (BOMEX). Dr. Martin was the first President of the Board, and also, its first licensee. At the time, the Board's licensing fee was just $2.00.

After graduating from Rush Medical College in 1885, Dr. Martin moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he accomplished many firsts in medicine. He was the first ophthalmologist to practice in Arizona. He was also the first doctor to report cases of "rabbit septicemia," later to be called tularemia. Tularemia is an infectious disease of wild animals, such as rabbits and squirrels that is occasionally transmitted to humans. Dr. Martin was later given the name "father of tularemia."

In addition to his role as President of the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners, Dr. Martin also served as the Board's Secretary in 1919 and as the President of the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA) in 1894. Dr. Martin practiced in Arizona until his death in 1926.

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