The French School

  • Thomas S. HellingEmail author
  • Daniel Azoulay


French surgeons would have a major impact on liver and biliary tract surgery, not only in anatomic clarification but also in clinical practice. The French School, or, more specifically, Paris medicine, arose from the ashes of the ancien régime and on the heels of the French Revolution at the turn of the nineteenth century. Departing from eighteenth century theories and systems, French physicians, with a sudden wealth of clinical material brought about by a new and entitled public hospital system, focused on clinical observation, vivisection, and intense scrutiny of abundant autopsy cases. According to Ann La Berge and Caroline Hannaway the medical practices of Paris were characterized by a correlation of clinical observations with pathological anatomy, a vast supply of patients, and concentration not just on patient history but also physical examination brought about by new and exciting diagnostic methods. The hospital now became the center of clinical activity and research. And, importantly, surgery and medicine were unified, surgeons attaining the same rank and prestige, finally, as their medical colleagues and counterparts . The medical community, in the words of George Weisz, was “a huge, interlinked, and prestigious network” of municipal hospitals and several hundred physicians and surgeons [1]. Renowned researchers and experimentalists such as Francois Magendie and Claude Bernard advanced French pathology and physiology to the forefront of European medical science, an élan scientifique in the words of Jules Rochard in his treatise Histoire de la chirurgie français au XIXe siècles written in 1875 .


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA
  2. 2.Centre Hépato-BiliaireHôpital Universitaire Paul BrousseVillejuifFrance

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