Michael DeBakey in surgical gown at the Leriche Clinic in Strasbourg, France

Michael DeBakey in surgical gown at the Leriche Clinic in Strasbourg, France
[ca. 1934]
In 1935-36, DeBakey trained with Dr. Rene Leriche in Strasbourg. Several years later, he published a memoir of this time, "The Clinic of Professor Rene Leriche." A prominent French surgeon in the early 1900s, Leriche was the Professor of Surgery at the University of Strasbourg, "one of the world's most advanced centers of education," and later the College de France. He trained at the University of Lyon and became a military surgeon before taking his place at Strasbourg, where he continued "to add many achievements to his numerous innovations and advances." DeBakey described him as a generous, vivacious, cordial, enthusiastic, and resolute man who inspired an atmosphere of camaraderie at his clinic and created much admiration among students and patients alike. His clinical lectures demonstrated his "incomparable ability as a masterful teacher," and in the operating room he exemplified "the technical perfection of the delicate operative manipulations" of a master surgeon with a thorough grasp on the technical aspects of surgery as well as the "correlation of the underlying pathologic anatomy with physiologic function." DeBakey believed that this quality is paramount to modern surgery. Leriche published important works on abdominal surgery, vascular diseases, surgery of the sympathetic nervous system, and endocrine glands. DeBakey's article concluded by saying that "when the pages of this chapter of medical history have been completed, his name will appear conspicuously among those who have done most towards advancing modern surgical progress."
Box: 29
Courtesy of Katrin DeBakey.
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The Clinic of Professor Rene Leriche, 1938
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The Michael E. DeBakey Papers
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From Tulane School of Medicine to the U.S. Army, 1928-1946