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August 1963

The Case Reports and Autopsy Records of Ambroise Paré

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(2):303-304. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860020201046

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Paré lived in an exciting time of change. By his great capacity he managed to survive the many fluctuating religious and political conflicts which characterized the dissolution of the medieval age in the Sixteenth Century. For the Huguenot doctor of Catholic rulers this was no small feat. Cracks were beginning to show in the hard carapace of authority, and man was beginning to get exciting new ideas about the possibility of shaking off traditional limits and exploring in many new directions. Medical and surgical knowledge had been sanctified, codified, and encrusted. The authority of the church established another body of authoritarian constraints. Paré used the only method available for a poor barber surgeon to advance. He spent several years as "house-officer" in the Hôtel-Dieu. Military surgery presented his best chance for progress and a magnificent opportunity for accumulating experience in developing the swift dexterity required to help salvage some of

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