Thomas Willis attended Christ Church College, Oxford, possibly intending to follow a clerical career in the church.
However, his education was disrupted by the outbreak of The Civil War in 1642.
The War turned Willis' focus to medicine, where he used his skills to make first-hand clinical observations.
He established his clinical practice early, which meant he could follow his patients throughout their lives. When they died, he was able to dissect them and compare their clinical pathological conditions.
The turmoil of period drew Willis into clinical practice. And it shaped his thinking — how he worked, studied, and conducted research.
Learn more in A History of Medicine Perspective on Willis