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January 29, 1968


JAMA. 1968;203(5):357-358. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140050041013

Felix Platter (Platerus), anatomist, practitioner, and teacher, was born in Basle, the son of a distinguished father who provided his son with a classical education.1 Young Platter began the study of medicine in 1552 at Montpellier; there he witnessed the dissection of human cadavers, and in 1556 became bachelor of medicine. His round trip, Basle to Montpellier, and his reaction to 16th century medical education were described in his diary, which has attracted considerable interest. The document provides an excellent and authentic portrayal of aspects of life at Montpellier and in central Europe at the time of Rabelais. The introductory paragraph begins:2

From my childhood I had always dreamed of studying medicine and of becoming a doctor. My father desired it as much as I did, for he had himself once approached the same study. He often spoke to me of the esteem that doctors enjoy, and when