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Charles-Pierre Denonvilliers

Born 1808
Died 1872

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French anatomist and surgeon, born February 4, 1808, Paris; died July 5, 1872.

Biography of Charles-Pierre Denonvilliers

Charles-Pierre Denonvilliers studied medicine from 1836. Already the following year, in 1837, he was conferred doctor of medicine. He participated four times in competitive examinations for a position as professor, and in 1839 made professor agrégé of surgery, in 1840 surgeon at Central-Bureau des Hôpitaux. In 1841 he was also appointed Chef des travaux anatomiques. From 1833 he uninterruptedly held courses of descriptive and surgical anatomy, and surgery.

In 1849, following the death of Gilbert Breschet (1784-1845), he was appointed to the chair of anatomy. At hat time he had already enriched the faculty museum with his beautiful, numerous, and exquisitely conserved preparations, as he made sure that the preparing rooms were always meticulously clean and orderly. His anatomical lectures were distinguished by their clearness and mass of content.

Although he was an accomplished operator, Denonvilliers' importance lies in his improving of the methods of plastic surgery, in which he excelled. Despite his great achievements, however, he was rather unknown to the public, as he had no practice. In 1858 he became Inspecteur général de l’instruction publique for medicine, and was appointed member of the Conseil supérieur for this. In this position he found opportunity to take part in a perfectioning of medical education. Domestic accidents darkened the last years of his life.

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