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Albert John Ochsner

Born  1858
Died  1925

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American physician and surgeon, born April 3, 1858, Baraboo, Sauk County, Wisconsin; died July 25, 1925.

Biography of Albert John Ochsner

Albert John Ochsner claimed to be related to Vesalius. While preparing for higher studies he earned his living as a schoolteacher. He graduated M.D. in 1886 from the Rush Medical College, Chicago and subsequently studied in Vienna, Berlin, and London. In 1889 he settled in practice in Chicago. In 1900 he was appointed to the chair of clinical surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, holding this tenure until his death 25 years later.

Albert John Ochsner accomplished much in the world of American surgical politics, including the presidencies of the Clinical Congress of Surgeons of North America (1910-1912), the American College of Surgeons (1923) and the American Surgical Association (1924). His most important article concerned peritonitis as a complication of appendicitis (1901). In that paper he proposed a treatment of appendicitis with which his name remain linked: when operation is not advisable, treatment should consist of intestinal rest obtained from abstention from the use of cathartics and oral intake while gastric lavage and rectal irrigation are being instituted. Ochsner died of coronary thrombosis.


  • The cause of diffuse peritonitis complicating appendicitis and its prevention.
    Journal of the American Medical Association, Chicago, 1901, 36: 1747-1754.
    Reprinted in Medical Classics, 1940, 4: 600-626.
  • Clinical Surgery for the Instruction of Practitioners and Students of Surgery.
    Textbook. Chicago, 1902; 6th edition, 1905.
  • A Handbook of Appendicitis. Chicago, 1902; 2nd edition, 1906.
  • Organization, Construction and Management of Hospitals. 1907.
  • The Surgery and Pathology of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands.1910.
  • Surgical Diagnosis and Treatment, by American Authors.
    Edited by Albert J. Ochsner. 4 volumes, Philadelphia, 1920-1922.

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