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Claude-Nicolas Le Cat

Born 1700
Died 1768

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French surgeon, born September 6, 1700, Blérancourt, Oise; died August 20, 1768.

Biography of Claude-Nicolas Le Cat

Claude-Nicolas Le Cat came from a family of physicians. He studied surgery in Paris, but had not finished his training when in 1729 he was called to the archbishop of Rouen. He obtained his doctorate in Reims in 1732, and the following year settled permanently in that town.

In 1732 he began competing for the prizes awarded by the Académie de chirurgie, and until 1738 won almost all of them, occurring the academy to ask him to stop competing.

He became master of surgery in 1734, later chirurgien-major at the city Hôtel-Dieu. He commenced lecturing on anatomy and surgery, and in 1736 received the title of royal professor and demonstrator. In 1744 he founded the Académie royale des sciences, belles lettres et arts in Rouen, becoming its life-long secretary for the class of sciences and arts.

Le Cat was an accomplished operator, and invented an elevator for sickbeds. Besides medical themes, his writings concern mathematics, war architecture, and philosophy. He was knighted in 1762.

His son-in-law was the physician Jean Pierre David (1737-1784).

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