- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Mark Michael Ravitch

Born 1910
Died 1989

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American paediatric surgeon, 1910-1989.

Biography of Mark Michael Ravitch

Mark Michael Ravitch graduated in medicine in 1934 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He then completed a surgical residency with Alfred Blalock (1899-1964) at the Vanderbilt University Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee. Ravitch was known as an expert on the correction of chest-wall deformities in children and as a pioneer in the use of mechanical suturing in surgery.

In 1952, Ravitch became the first full time Chief of Surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, a tenure that lasted only 18 months. He was also Executive Vice-Chair, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and became Professor of Surgery and director of surgical research at Johns Hopkins.

In 1958, while travelling in. Russia, Ravitch observed the ‘brilliant use of the staple instruments in pulmonary surgery’ and subsequently introduced modern stapling techniques to the USA.

In 1989, at the age of 78, Dr. Ravitch was still teaching students from his hospital bed. He died that year. Dr. Ravitch authored 453 papers, 101 book chapters, 22 books, and served as editor of nearly 20 medical journals. The Mark M. Ravitch Professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins University is named in his honour.

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