|H. Brownell Wheeler, M.D., Harry M. Haidak
Distinguished Professor and the Founding Chair of the Department of Surgery, was honored on November 14
in the Allan S. Goff Learning Center auditorium. Two rare medical books were presented to Dr. Wheeler
by Francis D. Moore, M.D., Moseley Professor of
Surgery Emeritus at Harvard Medical School and the Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus at Peter Bent Brigham
Hospital in Boston. Dr. Moore lauded Dr. Wheeler and his long, distinguished career in surgery, and the
work he is now doing in the study and research of end-of-life issues.|
After opening remarks by Chancellor Aaron Lazare, comments were made
by Drs. William C. Meyers, Professor and Chairman of the Department of
Surgery; Lynda Young, President of the Worcester Medical Library and of the
Worcester District Medical Society; and Grant V. Rodkey, past President of the
Boston Medical Library. Kevin Courtney, Associate Vice Chancellor for
Development, spoke on the proposed renovation of The Lamar Soutter Library.
During his presentation of the volumes, Dr. Moore was not hesitant to
exhibit their superb workmanship and illustrations.
De Fabrica Humanis Corporis (1543), by Andreas Vesalius, is considered the seminal work in medical science. Its woodcuts, crafted by Johan Calcar, represented a breakthrough in anatomical rendering.
Oeuvres, by Ambroise Paré, who is often referred to as the "Father of
Surgery," appeared in 1614. A groundbreaking work, this manual of surgery was
published in French rather than Latin, broadening its accessibility to the
medical world. Some present-day surgical instruments and procedures were
actually invented by Paré.
Responding to the presentation, Dr. Wheeler expressed his appreciation to
Dr. Moore for the gifts. In an ensuing slide demonstration, Dr. Wheeler
compared the Vesalius illustrations to anatomy texts of that era. The other works
were primitive in their depiction of human anatomy, whereas the woodcuts in
the Vesalius volume reflect a more modern representation.
At the ceremony's conclusion, Dr. Moore invited the audience to examine
the textbooks and to ask him questions about them. The participants
then attended a reception in the newly refurbished Rare Books Room in The
Lamar Soutter Library.