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Medical News and Perspectives
February 23, 2005

Michael E. DeBakey, MD

JAMA. 2005;293(8):913-918. doi:10.1001/jama.293.8.913

Many consider Michael E. DeBakey, MD, to be the greatest surgeon ever.

Over a 74-year career, the 96-year-old DeBakey has performed more than 60 000 surgeries and published more than 1600 scientific articles. His research was key to the creation of the heart-lung machine, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and carotid endarterectomy. Today his focus is on refining his left ventricular assist device. During World War II, DeBakey helped develop the concept of front-line medical treatment now known as the mobile army surgical hospital, or MASH unit. He also maneuvered through the politics of Washington and the military to help create the National Library of Medicine.

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