Tag Archives: Harvey Cushing

Theodor Kocher (1841-1917)

Emil Theodor Kocher. published in 1909 in Les Prix Nobel p. 66. Via Wikimedia. Theodor Kocher was the first surgeon to ever receive the Nobel Prize. He was born in 1841 in Bern, Switzerland, went to school there, and was first in his class. He studied medicine in Bern and graduated summa cum laude, then went […]

Wilder Penfield

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Wilder Penfield, Stamp Wilder Penfield was not only a great surgeon and a great scientist, he was an even greater human being. -Sir George Pickering, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University   Wilder Penfield (1891-1976) (Fig. 1) was the most gifted pioneer of Canadian neurosurgery. […]

The smell of burning rubber: the fatal illness of George Gershwin

James Franklin Chicago, Illinois, USA   George Gershwin, 28 March 1937. Photograph by Carl Van Vetchen. 1937. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division. On the morning of Monday July 12, 1937, New Yorkers who had just suffered through five days of a heat wave that left thirty-eight people dead, awoke to read on the […]

An emperor unclothed: the virtuous Osler

Patrick Fiddes Paul A. Komesaroff Melbourne, Australia   William Osler at Oxford. Apart from Hippocrates himself, William Osler was among the most praised physicians of all time. Like his Greek forerunner, Osler amassed a huge following of loyal supporters, for whom he could evidently do no wrong. One went so far as to suggest that […]

Dr. Robert E. Gross and first operations in cardiovascular surgery

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States Robert E. Gross (1905-1988)   There is a myth that Dr. Robert E. Gross (1905-1988), a Harvard surgeon, performed the first cardiovascular surgery. There is no question that he performed the first successful major operation on the great vessels near the heart in which the patient survived, the […]