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Jacques Mathieu Delpech

Born 1777
Died 1832

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French anatomist and surgeon, born 1777, Toulouse; died October 28, 1832, Montpellier.

Biography of Jacques Mathieu Delpech

Jacques Mathieu Delpech completed his studies in Paris in 1801 with the title of doctor of medicine. He received his first appointment at the school of surgery and pharmacology that had recently been established in his native town of Toulouse, as a teacher of anatomy. He excelled and applied for Raphael Bienvenu Sabatier's (1732-1811) chair of operative surgery at the École de santé in Paris. However, Guillaume Dupuytren (1777-1835) was preferred. From September 27, 1812 held the chair of surgery at Montpellier.

Delpech was a fabulous surgeon, yet he focused a great deal of his attention on nonsurgical approaches to orthopaedic problems.

Besides his duties as a teacher, Delpech was the director of the Hôpital Saint-Eloi, and spent much of his time at a clinic for orthopaedic diseases he had established at the hospital. His orthopaedic institute at there included elaborate gardens, a heated winter gymnasium, and an outdoor gymnasium for the treatment of various musculoskeletal problems. His patients usually stayed for 1 or 2 years at the institute, and they would wear uniforms while they performed their exercises.

Delpech also found time for an extensive written work. He established and published the journal Chirurgie clinique de Montpellier (1823-1828) and Mémorial des hôpitaux du midi et de la clinique de Montpellier, (1829-1836). In 1809 he translated Scarpa’s work on aneurysms under the title of Réflexions et observations anatomico-chirurgicales sur l’anévrisme. He was a member of the l'Académie de médecine.

In 1832 Delpech was shot to death by a patient he had operated for variocele as he was riding back to Montpellier in an open carriage.

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