| Physicians of Interest
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.