Jean Baptiste Philippe Barth
Biography of Jean Baptiste Philippe Barth
Jean Baptiste Philippe Barth studied medicine at the University of Paris from 1826. After completing his studies he was was an interne for several years, particularly in the clinic of Pierre Charles Alexandre Louis (1787-1872) in the Hôpital de la Pitié. Here he acquired a great reputation among the students for his course in pathological anatomy. In 1840 he was appointed médecin des hôpitaux and served as physician and teacher in the Paris hospitals for more than 30 fruitful years. A ”product” of the Louis school, Barth continued the path of his great master, always eager to compare the clinical observations with postmortem findings, thus using pathological anatomy for the greater understanding of clinics. As a medical writer he is mostly remembered for his work on auscultation written with Henri Louis Roger (1809-1891).
Barth, who contributed a large number of valuable pathological works to various journals, enriched the Dupuytren museum with hundreds of preparations. He was a distinguished member of the Paris medical community and a treasured member of the Académie de médecine, being elected vice president in 1871, president the following year.
Ailing health forced Barth to rest from his strainous professional life. Accompanied by his children he travelled to Italy, but in Napoli acquired a severe malaria infection which in its third attack turned into febris perniciosa syncopalis. The attack lapsed, but caused various local diseases after his return to Paris, and he died in November that year. He was the last important representative of the Louis school.
We thank Patrick Jucker-Kupper, Switzerland, for information submitted.