Nicolas Augustin Gilbert
Biography of Nicolas Augustin Gilbert
Nicolas Augustin Gilbert was born to a family of which several generations had been farmers. However, his father had left the land 15 years before his son's birth and had become a tanner. Gilbert had a happy childhood and was a brilliant scholar, winning many prizes at school. He graduated in medicine from the University of Paris in 1880 and became interne at the Hôtel-Dieu. He was a pupil of Charles Joseph Bouchard (1837-1915), Paul Camille Hippolyte Brouardel (1837-1906), Victor Charles Hanot (1844-1896), and Georges Hayem (1841-1933).
Gilbert acquired the consultant status of médecin des hôpitaux in 1888 and became agrégé in 1889. He was appointed professor of therapeutics by 1902 and in 1905 he became professor of clinical medicine at the Hôpital de Dieu. He was elected member of the Académie de médecine in 1907.
Because of his status he was able to choose his collaborators from amongst the medical elite, and together with many others he published papers on a brad spectre of topics, among them tuberculosis in birds and animals, pneumonia caused by psittacosis, and blood diseases, which he studied when a student under Hayem. He also wrote several standard textbooks.
Gilbert was a collector of objets d'art. Although outwardly cold and rather distant, he developed very close relationships with people, had numerous friends and was highly respected and liked by his students. After the was broke out in 1914 his home in Buzancy was destroyed. He continued his clinical work until shortly before his death.