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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.

George Goodfellow, M.D.

In the 1880's, years before Arizona became a state and many years before physicians were licensed in Arizona, George Goodfellow, M.D. was a Tombstone physician well known for treating famous gunfighters such as Doc Holliday, Morgan and Virgil Earp and Billy Clanton.

After graduating with honors from the Wooster University School of Medicine in 1876, Dr. Goodfellow moved to Prescott, Arizona. Working only briefly as a physician at a mine, he quit to become an Army surgeon at Fort Lowell. By 1879, Dr. Goodfellow, now a resident of Tombstone, had a notorious reputation for his drinking and temper and was often called upon to treat wounds and injuries brought on by his own hand and gun. As a surgeon, he also treated gun shot wounds, often inflicted after a fight over cards.

In addition to surgical duties, Dr. Goodfellow cared for injured miners, delivered babies, performed appendectomies and set broken bones. He spent time researching cures for tuberculosis and other epidemics, and published several medical opinions on rattlesnake and Gila monster bites in the Scientific American and Southern California Practitioner.

In 1891, Dr. Goodfellow moved to Tucson where he served as head surgeon for the Southern Pacific Railroad and became the Arizona Territory Health Officer. Seven years later, he joined the U.S. Army as General William Shafer's personal physician. Dr. Goodfellow went on to serve in all the major battles of the Spanish American War and acted as the interpreter and negotiator during the Spanish surrender. After establishing a successful practice in San Francisco, Dr. Goodfellow died of what is described as "multiple neuritis" in 1910 at the age of 54.

This Physician of Interest biography was derived from excerpts from:
Jane Eppinga, Arizona Capitol Times, December 2003, page 23.

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