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Jean Alfred Fournier

Born 1832
Died 1914

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French dermatologist, born March 12, 1832; died December 23, 1914, Paris.

Biography of Jean Alfred Fournier

Jean Alfred Fournier commenced his medical studies in Paris in 1852 at the age of 20. He became an intern at the Hôpital du Midi with Philippe Ricord (1800-1889), who proved that syphilis and gonorrhoea are two different diseases.

Fournier received his doctorate in 1860. In 1863 he became agrégé and médecine des hôpitaux, 1867 deputy to Augustin Grisolle (1811-1869) at the Hôtel-Dieu. In 1876 her became Chef de service at l'hôpital Saint-Louis, where he was appointed Professeur des maladies cutanées et syphilitiques in 1879. In 1880 he was elected member of the Académie de médecine. He founded the Société française de prophylaxie sanitaire et morale.

Fournier is chiefly remembered for his contributions on congenital syphilis, describing the condition in 1883. Through his writings, the importance of syphilis as a cause of degenerative diseases was recognised.

He was also active as a medical historian in this field, republishing works of previous physicians. Among them are works by Girolamo Fracastoro (1478-1553), Jacques de Béthencourt (early 16th century) who gave syphilis the name morbus venereus instead of the common term morbus gallicus, and Giovanni de Vigo (1460-1525).

We thank Detlef E. Rosenow, Germany, for information submitted.

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