Biographical Landmarks of a Surgeon Venereologist

Aristide Auguste Stanislas Verneuil (Fig. 2.1) was born in Paris on 29 November, 1823. He was appointed Interne des Hôpitaux de Paris in 1843, graduated as a Doctor in Medicine in 1852 (thesis: the movements of the heart) and became Professeur Agrégé at the Paris Faculty of Medicine in 1853 (thesis: the anatomy and physiology of the venous system).

As Surgeon of the Paris Hospitals from 1856, he was officially in charge of the teaching of venereal diseases from 1863. Non syphilitic venereal diseases and primary syphilis were at this time managed essentially by surgeons (for example, Ricord in Le Midi Hospital) whereas dermatologists - notably in Saint Louis - were more involved in the management of secondary and tertiary forms of syphilis.

In fact dermatology and syphilology were first regarded only as complementary specialties. Cazenave - head of Saint Louis Hospital -was in charge of teaching skin diseases from 1841 until 1843, succeeded by Hardy from 1862 [1]. The political events that followed the Franco-Prussian 1870s war encouraged the Faculty of Medicine to accept the creation of Chairs of medical specialties. In this trend, the first Chair encompassing cutaneous and syphilitic diseases at the Paris Faculty of Medicine was founded in 1879 and attributed to Alfred Fournier.

After successive appointments as the head of Lourcine Hospital (for syphilitic women), Le Midi Hospital (for syphilitic men) (1865), Hôpital Lariboisière (1865), La Pitié (1872) and Hôtel-Dieu (1889), and Professor of Clinical Surgery (1872-1889) in La Pitié hospital, Verneuil head-

Aristide Verneuil 1823 1895
Fig. 2.1. Aristide Auguste Stanislas Verneuil ( 1823— 1895). Coll Photothèque de l'Académie Nationale de Médecine

ed the first Chair of Surgery at Hôtel-Dieu Hospital (1889-1892).

President of the Société de Chirurgie in 1869 and Charter member of the Congress of Surgery, he was elected as President in 1888. He was also a member of the Académie de Médecine (1869), Member of the Académie des Sciences (1887), and Commander of the Legion of Honour. Verneuil died from a bronchopneumonia on Tuesday 11 June, 1895. His funeral took place on 14 June in a Paris suburb, Maisons-Lafitte [2, 3].

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