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Jacques Arlet

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French rheumatologist.

Biography of Jacques Arlet

Jacques Arlet grew up in eastern France and in Paris. His interest in rheumatology dates back to the 1940's when he was still in training at Purpan Teaching Hospital in Toulouse, where he set up Rheumatology Unit. Since many other specialities were overcrowded, and there was no such specialty as “musculoskeletal disorders” or “rheumatology;” he decided that I would go into that field.

Arlet became a hospital doctor – médecin des hôpitaux - in 1959. At present (2001) he has been in rheumatology for some fifty years, the last thirty years as Professor of Rheumatology at Toulouse Medical School. He has now retired from his hospital duties,

Beside mountain hiking and painting, one of his great interests is the French mystery writer Georges Simenon, of whom he says: "I love Simenon because I think that he is not just a writer of whodunnits, but a subtle psychologist, with a profound knowledge of the human psyche; he is one of those remarkable authors that give one a feeling that they have seen everything, and experienced everything; one wonders whether they have a very special brain. The other thing is that many of Simenon’s characters are doctors. Simenon liked doctors, there were lots of medics in his circle of friends. I did a little exercise once, just for fun, analysing the medical characters in about a hundred Simenon texts. In his books, he portrayed all sorts of doctors, from country GPs to forensic pathologists, big hospital consultants, etc. And all these characters are beautifully sketched."

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