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François-Amilcar Aran

Born  1817-07-12
Died  1861-02-22

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French physician, born July 12, 1817, Bordeaux; died Februar 22, 1861.

Biography of François-Amilcar Aran

Born in Bordeaux, Francois-Amilcar Aran commenced his medical studies in Bordeaux, and graduated in Paris. He published his first paper even before he had become M.D, for which honour he delivered an inaugural thesis entitled Des palpitations du coeur, considérées principalement dans leur nature et leur traitement.

He was a stubborn man possessing an exceptional working capacity and early began racing for Concours, became hospital physician and professor agrégé - the latter title with a Concur-thesis titled Des morts subits. His efforts in the Concours-race, however, did cause him to neglect his learned and clinical work. He was active in the publishing of several journals, among them Archives générales de médecine, and the Union médicale of which he was one of the most prolific contributors, publishing both his own papers as well as analyses of English works.

As professor agrégé he held private courses of therapy at the École pratique. At the Hôtel-Dieu, as deputy to Léon Louis Rostand (1790-1866), Aran's clinical lectures were tremendously successful. As physician at the Hôpital Saint-Antoine he devoted a large part of his time to the sick and to the subsequent clinical discussions. His book Lecons clinique ... of 1858 was sold out before the end of the year. He wrote numerous scholarly and original dissertations, many of them published in the Bulletin de thérapeutique.

In the final years Aran preferably concerned himself with studies of materia medica, while still a prolific writer. One of his papers was on acute rheumatism, from which he himself had suffered repeatedly, and which caused his premature death on February 22, 1861, at the age of only 44 years. He left a large number of unfinished works, one of them a Dictionnaire de thérapeutique, of which only the first letters had been put on paper.

A man well versed in foreign languages, Aran translated several important works. Among them, in 1850 or 1851, James Henry Bennett’s Traité pratique des inflammations de l’utérus et de ses annexes (Practical Treatise on Inflammation of the Uterus and Its Appendages and on the Connexion with other Uterine Diseases. London, 1845).

And 1854 Josef Skoda’s (1805-1881) Traité de percussion et d’auscultation (Abhandlung über Perkussion und Auskultation. Vienna, 1839).


  • Manuel pratique des maladies du coeur et des gros vaisseaux. Paris 1842.
    English translation: Practical manual of the diseases of the heart and great vessels. A work intended to facilitate and extend the study of these diseases. Translated from the French by William A. Harris, M. D.
    164 pages. Philadelphia, Ed. Barrington, 1843.
  • Des palpitations du cæur, considérées principalement dans leurs causes, leur nature et leur traitement.
    Doctoral thesis. 31 pages. Paris, 1843, No. 98.
  • Recherches sur une maladie non encore décrit du systéme musculaire (atrophie musculaire progressive).
    Archives générales de médecine, Paris, 1850, 3: 172.
  • Lecons cliniques sur les maladies de l'utérus et de ses annexes.
    Recueillies par le Dr. A. Gauchet et revus par l' auteur. Paris 1858.

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