George R. Minot was born in Boston, Mass, on December 2, 1885. He was a great-grandson
of Dr James Jackson (1777-1867), cofounder of the Massachusetts General Hospital in
1821. His father was a private practitioner and taught at Harvard Medical School.
Minot attended private schools in Boston and graduated from Harvard College in 1908.
He enrolled at Harvard Medical School, and during his junior year, he demonstrated
that a patient considered to have pernicious anemia actually had congenital hemolytic
anemia. After graduation in 1912, Minot became a “house pupil” (intern) at the Massachusetts
General Hospital. He became interested in diseases of the blood and began taking meticulous
histories of the dietary habits of patients with anemia. He was a resident at the
Johns Hopkins University and worked in the laboratory of William H. Howell (1860-1945),
who was interested in the coagulation of blood and had identified heparin. As a resident,
Minot determined that delayed coagulation in patients with jaundice who had bleeding
tendencies was due to a decreased level of prothrombin.
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