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Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Apologie and Treatise of Ambroise Paré

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 28 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b203
  1. Harold Ellis, emeritus professor of surgery, University of London

    I first read this brilliant translation in its year of publication, 1951. I had just passed my FRCS examination and was completing my two years of national service. I was enthralled. I have dipped into its pages many times over the years, and I have learnt much from my surgical hero.

    Ambroise Paré (1510-90) trained as a barber surgeon and spent three or four years as a resident surgeon in that great repository of pathology, the Hôtel-Dieu, in Paris. At the age of 26 he began his career in military surgery as a surgeon to the mareschal de Montejan, commander of the French infantry in the campaign in Turin.

    This slim …

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