‘Greatest surgeon of the 20th century’ dies at 99

Todd Ackerman and Eric Berger in the Houston Chronicle:

600xpopupgalleryDr. Sherwin Nuland, medicine’s best-known historian, was visiting with Dr. Michael DeBakey three years ago when the then-96-year-old surgeon left the room to attend to some business.

Taking advantage of the moment to tour the room’s extensive collection of memorabilia — the honors, photographs and mementos from an illustrative career that spanned eight decades — Nuland stopped to reflect on two antiquarian charts of the history of medicine.

“As I studied the charts, it occurred to me that no face on them was any more important in the history of medicine than DeBakey himself,” said Nuland, a retired surgeon at the Yale University School of Medicine and author of Doctors: The Biography of Medicine. “I can’t think of anyone who’s made more of a contribution to the field of medicine.”

Michael Ellis DeBakey — internationally acclaimed as the father of modern cardiovascular surgery and considered by many to be the greatest surgeon ever — died Friday night at The Methodist Hospital in Houston. He was 99.

More here.  [Thanks to Ruchira Paul. And Bhaisaheb, did you know him?]