Biography of Léon Bouveret
Léon Bouveret grew up in St-Julien-sur-Reyssouze, a small town 70 km north of Lyon. His father was a physician who trained Leon from early childhood. A gifted child, Léon distinguished himself in high school, where he even won an academic competition in Latin verse.
Bouveret began his medical studies in Lyon and later changed to Paris where he, in 1873, was ranked number three of forty candidates in a competition at the Internat des Hôpitaux de Paris. He received his doctor's degree in 1878, aged 29 years, and then returned to Lyon,
In 1878 at the age of 29 years, he received his doctor's degree and returned to Lyon, where he became director of professor Raphael Lépines (1840-1919) clinic at the newly established medical clinic of the Lyon faculty. The following year he was appointed Médecin des Hôpitaux de Lyon. In 1880 he was appointed professeur agrégé.
In 1884, Bouveret and some young physicians investigated the outbreak of an epidemic of cholera in Ardèche, and organised and conducted the practical care of the ill. Two years later Bouveret and Raymond Tripier wrote a book about "Treatment of typhoid fever with cold baths" – a somewhat brutal method of treatment that soon won acceptance in Lyon.
His probably greatest achievement, Traité des maladies de l'estomac – Textbook on the Diseases of the Stomach" (1893) – remained a standard textbook for decades. In this work Bouveret was a strong advocate of surgical treatment, enthusiastically supporting new surgical methods. From 1882 he was a member of the editorial committee of Lyon médicale, in which many of his works were published. All his publications were translated into German.
Bouveret quit les Hôpitaux de Lyon in 1900, but resumed his work there a few timed during World War I. Because of unfortunate circumstances he was never appointed professor at the faculty,. He continued his own practice, which grew to become very large, as many colleagues and students consulted him about their own cases. Bouveret was considered an outstanding diagnostician. Practically inclined, he personally participated in the care of his patients and did his own chemical and bacteriological analyses.
- "Physicians are there for their patients, not for their own career".