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Surgical Reminiscence
February 01, 2006

Roy Cohn: The Last Classical Professor of Surgery

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2006 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2006

Arch Surg. 2006;141(2):210-213. doi:10.1001/archsurg.141.2.210

Roy Cohn was born in 1909 in Portland, Ore, where his father was a businessman. He was the second of 3 children. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Los Angeles, Calif. Early in high school, he was identified by the Stanford psychologist Lewis Terman as a gifted child, and at age 14 years, Cohn was offered and accepted a scholarship to Stanford University. After 3 years of college, he entered Stanford Medical School, graduating in 1933. He was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha undergraduate and graduate honorary societies. He had a photographic memory. In chemistry examinations, he said he could close his eyes, see the page, and just write it out. He did not think that was brilliance (Figure).

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