Famous French Physicians

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Physicians are Godsend angels who serve as the face of good health and well-being. Healers and therapists, physicians or doctors as they are popularly known as, are revered and respected by the society for their nature of work and their service to the society. Physician is a broad term that is used to define people who specialize in varied field of medicine. They can be doctors, surgeons, neurologists, cardiologists, radiologists, and so on. However, physicians do not just practice the contemporary method of healing only; they follow the traditional approaches of homeopathy, Ayurveda, Chinese traditional medicine as well. France has been home to several physicians who have contributed extensively in the field of medicine. They have played an instrumental role in developing modern science. Right from Jean Martin Charcot who became popular as the Napoleon of Neuro-Sciences to the surgeon of medieval France Guy de Chauliac, Alexandre Yersin who discovered the bacillus of the bubonic plague, ‘Pasteurellapestis’, to the man who invented the stethoscope Rene Laennec, French physicians have contributed extensively in the advancement of the field of medicine. Know more about each of them and many more through this section. It gives in-depth information about their life, career, their work as physicians and their contribution to medicine.
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 1 
Louis Pasteur
(French Chemist and Microbiologist Who Discovered the Principles of Vaccination, Microbial Fermentation and Pasteurization)
Louis Pasteur
4
Birthdate: December 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dole, France
Died: September 28, 1895
Considered one of the founders of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and rabies, and invented the process of heating food and wine to kill microbes that cause contamination, which was named pasteurization after him. Known as the “father of microbiology,” he also founded the Pasteur Institute in Paris.  
 2 
Nostradamus
(French Astrologer and Physician Best Known for His Book 'Les Prophéties')
Nostradamus
4
Birthdate: December 21, 1503
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Died: July 2, 1566

Nostradamus was a French physician, astrologer, and respected seer whose book Les Prophéties is viewed as a document that predicts future events. Since the publication of the book, Nostradamus has been praised for his accurate predictions of major world events. His life has been the subject of several films and hundreds of books.

 3 
René Laennec
(Inventor of Stethoscope)
René Laennec
4
Birthdate: February 17, 1781
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Quimper, France
Died: August 13, 1826
Unlike most doctors, French physician René Laennec was also a skilled musician. It was while making his own wooden flutes that he invented the stethoscope, which helped doctors examine the chest cavity through auditory cues. His research also included work on melanoma, cirrhosis, and tuberculosis. He was a dedicated Catholic.
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 4 
Albert Schweitzer
(Physician and Founder of the “Albert Schweitzer Hospital” in Lambaréné,)
Albert Schweitzer
4
Birthdate: January 14, 1875
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France
Died: September 4, 1965

Albert Schweitzer was an Alsatian polymath who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his philosophical work, Reverence for Life. He is credited with founding the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, which was a direct result of his philosophical expression. Schweitzer is also credited with influencing the Organ reform movement, which began in the mid-20th-century.

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 5 
Jacques Lacan
(Psychoanalyst, Psychiatrist)
Jacques Lacan
4
Birthdate: April 13, 1901
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 9, 1981
French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Jacques Lacan is remembered for his philosophical approach that explored Freudian concepts, to which he applied elements of structuralism and anthropology to create his own concepts. His controversial suggestions led to his expulsion from the International Psychoanalytic Association. One of his key concepts was “Return to Freud.”
 6 
Antoine-Augustin Parmentier
(Botanist, Pharmacist, Physician, Agronomist, Nutritionist)
Antoine-Augustin Parmentier
4
Birthdate: August 12, 1737
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montdidier
Died: December 17, 1813

While in prison, in the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War, army pharmacist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier was forced to eat potatoes, which were considered fit only for prison ration and animal feed back then. Parmentier later persuaded the Paris Faculty of Medicine to declare potatoes edible and popularized them in France.

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 7 
Jean-Paul Marat
(French Politician and Journalist During French Politician)
Jean-Paul Marat
4
Birthdate: May 24, 1743
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boudry, Switzerland
Died: July 13, 1793

French political theorist, scientist, and physician Jean-Paul Marat was a key figure of the French Revolution. He published his radical views in pamphlets and newspapers, such as L'Ami du people. He was held responsible for the September massacres. His assassination by a Girondin supporter made him a Jacobin martyr.

 8 
Jean-Martin Charcot
(Neurologist)
Jean-Martin Charcot
3
Birthdate: November 29, 1825
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris
Died: August 16, 1893
French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot is best remembered for his work with hysteria patients. He was also an extraordinary professor and had Sigmund Freud as one of his students. He was one of the first to include photos and drawings as tools for instruction in neurology classes.
 9 
Frantz Fanon
(French Psychiatrist and Philosopher Best Known for the Classic Analysis of Colonialism and Decolonization)
Frantz Fanon
6
Birthdate: July 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fort-de-France, Martinique, France
Died: December 6, 1961

Frantz Fanon was a French-West Indian born in Martinique, a former French colony. A skilled psychiatrist and physician, he realized the impact of colonialism on the human mind while treating French soldiers and Algerians. The author of books such as The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon supported the Algerian independence movement.

 10 
R. D. Laing
(Psychiatrist)
R. D. Laing
4
Birthdate: October 7, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Govanhill
Died: August 23, 1989

Psychiatrist R. D. Laing was known for his different perspective on mental illnesses, particularly psychosis. Known as anti-psychiatry, his theory of resolving mental ailments opposed the age-old shock therapy. His written works include The Divided Self. He was also a talented poet and had fathered 10 children by four women.

 11 
Gustave Le Bon
(Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Psychologist, Philosopher, Historian, Sociologist)
Gustave Le Bon
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1841
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nogent-le-Rotrou
Died: December 13, 1931

French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon is best remembered for his research on crowd psychology. In his iconic work La psychologie des foules, or The Crowd, he stated that people are driven by their emotions and not by their intellect when they act as part of a crowd.

 12 
Félix Guattari
(Philosopher)
Félix Guattari
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Villeneuve-les-Sablons, France
Died: August 29, 1992
 13 
Alexis Carrel
(Surgeon, Biologist)
Alexis Carrel
3
Birthdate: June 28, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, Rhône, France
Died: November 5, 1944
Nobel Prize-winning French biologist and surgeon Alexis Carrel is remembered for developing a method to suture blood vessels with minimum stitches, to repair them. He also successfully kept tissues alive outside the body for 30 years, in an innovative tissue culture experiment, and worked on organ transplantation.
 14 
Ambroise Paré
(French Barber Surgeon and a Pioneer in Surgical Techniques)
Ambroise Paré
3
Birthdate: 1510 AD
Birthplace: Laval, France
Died: December 20, 1590

Ambroise Paré was a French surgeon remembered for his service as barber surgeon for Henry II, Henry III, Charles IX, and Francis II. Regarded as one of the fathers of surgery, Paré is also considered a pioneer in surgical techniques. He specialized in battlefield medicine and in the treatment of wounds. Ambroise Paré is credited with inventing several surgical instruments.

 15 
Paul Broca
(Physician)
Paul Broca
3
Birthdate: June 28, 1824
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Gironde, France
Died: July 9, 1880
 16 
François Quesnay
(Former economist known for publishing the "Tableau économique" (Economic Table) in 1758)
François Quesnay
3
Birthdate: June 4, 1694
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Méré, France
Died: December 16, 1774

François Quesnay was a French economist and physician. He was a proponent of the Physiocratic school. He is best known for publishing the "Tableau économique" (Economic Table), in which he set forth the foundations of the ideas of the Physiocrats. He also wrote extensively on Chinese politics and society. He was married to a woman named Marianne Woodsen. 

 17 
François Bernier
(Physician and traveller)
François Bernier
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1620
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Joué-Étiau, France
Died: September 22, 1688
 18 
Bernard Kouchner
(Physician, Politician, Diplomat)
Bernard Kouchner
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Avignon

Bernard Kouchner is a French politician and doctor who co-founded Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). He once worked as a physician for the Red Cross and was a humanitarian volunteer during the Siege of Naba’a. As a politician, he was the French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs from 2007 to 2010. He is a recipient of the Victor Gollancz Prize.

 19 
Alexandre Yersin
(Discoverer of Yersinia Pestis)
Alexandre Yersin
3
Birthdate: September 22, 1863
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Aubonne, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland
Died: March 1, 1943

Alexandre Yersin was a physician and bacteriologist. He is credited with co-discovering Yersinia pestis, the bacillus that causes the bubonic plague. Also an agriculturist, Yersin pioneered the cultivation of rubber trees. He is revered by the Vietnamese people because of his association with Hanoi Medical University; a private university in Da Lat is named in his honor.

 20 
Paul Gachet
(Physician)
Paul Gachet
3
Birthdate: July 30, 1828
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lille, France
Died: January 9, 1909
 21 
Georges Gilles de la Tourette
(Physician, Psychiatrist, Neurologist)
Georges Gilles de la Tourette
3
Birthdate: October 30, 1857
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint-Gervais-les-Trois-Clochers
Died: May 26, 1904
 22 
Jean-Baptiste Charcot
2
Birthdate: July 15, 1867
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: September 16, 1936
 23 
Serge Voronoff
(Surgeon, Immunologist, Gynaecologist)
Serge Voronoff
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1866
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Voronezh
Died: September 3, 1951

Russian-French surgeon Serge Voronoff, or the Monkey Gland Man, stunned everyone by implanting monkey testicles in his patients to cure impotence. He had apparently also injected himself with dog and guinea pig testicle extracts. Unfortunately, the scientific community dismissed his claims as simply the result of placebo effect.

 24 
David Servan-Schreiber
(Neuroscientist and psychiatrist)
David Servan-Schreiber
2
Birthdate: April 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: July 24, 2011
Jean-Étienne-Dominique Esquirol
2
Birthdate: February 3, 1772
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Toulouse, France
Died: December 12, 1840
 26 
Dominique Jean Larrey
(French Military Doctor and Surgeon Who is Widely Regarded as the First Modern Military Surgeon)
Dominique Jean Larrey
2
Birthdate: July 8, 1766
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Beaudéan, France
Died: July 25, 1842

Dominique Jean Larrey was a French military doctor and surgeon. He is best remembered for his service during the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolutionary Wars. A prominent innovator in triage and battlefield medicine, Dominique Jean Larrey is widely regarded as the first modern military surgeon.

 27 
Agnès Buzyn
(Politician)
Agnès Buzyn
2
Birthdate: November 1, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
 28 
Michel Aupetit
(Catholic priest)
Michel Aupetit
3
Birthdate: March 23, 1951
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Versailles, France
 29 
Gabriel Tarde
(French Sociologist, Criminologist and Social Psychologist Best Known for His Criminological Work and His Criticism of 'Durkheim')
Gabriel Tarde
2
Birthdate: March 12, 1843
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sarlat-la-Canéda, France
Died: May 13, 1904

Sociologist and criminologist Gabriel Tarde is best remembered for his theory of social interaction. Initially a magistrate, he later taught modern philosophy. He is remembered for his ideas on imitation and his criticism of the concept of the atavistic criminal. He also penned a sci-fi novel.

 30 
Julien Offroy de La Mettrie
(Physician and Philosopher, and one of the earliest of the French materialists of the Enlightenment)
Julien Offroy de La Mettrie
2
Birthdate: November 23, 1709
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint-Malo, France
Died: November 11, 1751
 31 
Thelonious Bernard
2
Birthdate: January 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: France
 32 
Elsa Cayat
(Psychiatrist)
Elsa Cayat
2
Birthdate: March 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sfax, Tunisia
Died: January 7, 2015
 33 
Verónika Mendoza
(Peruvian-French Politician, Educator, and Psychologist)
Verónika Mendoza
2
Birthdate: December 9, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Sebastián, Peru

Verónika Mendoza is a Peruvian-French politician, educator, and psychologist. She is currently serving as the president of a left-wing political party called New Peru, which she founded in 2017. Verónika Mendoza is also known for her association with the Universidad Nacional del Altiplano de Puno, where she worked as a professor before commencing her political career.

 34 
Pierre Fauchard
(Physician)
Pierre Fauchard
2
Birthdate: 1678 AD
Birthplace: Saint-Denis-de-Gastines, France
Died: March 22, 1761
 35 
Georges Canguilhem
(Philosopher)
Georges Canguilhem
2
Birthdate: June 4, 1904
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Castelnaudary, Aude, France
Died: September 11, 1995
 36 
Duchenne de Boulogne
(Photographer, Neurologist, Physician)
Duchenne de Boulogne
4
Birthdate: September 17, 1806
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boulogne-sur-Mer
Died: September 15, 1875
 37 
Claudie Haigneré
2
Birthdate: May 13, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Le Creusot, France
Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran
2
Birthdate: June 18, 1845
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 18, 1922

Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran was a French physician whose discoveries of certain parasitic protozoans earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1907. A well-known philanthropist, Laveran donated half of the money obtained from his Nobel Prize to set up the Laboratory of Tropical Medicine. He is also credited with founding the Société de Pathologie Exotique.

 39 
Jérôme Lejeune
(Pediatrician)
Jérôme Lejeune
2
Birthdate: June 13, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montrouge, France
Died: April 3, 1994
 40 
Guy De Chauliac
(Was a French Physician and Surgeon)
Guy De Chauliac
2
Birthdate: 1300 AD
Birthplace: Chaulhac, France
Died: July 25, 1368

Guy de Chauliac was a French surgeon and physician. He is credited with writing Chirurgia Magna, an influential treatise on surgery, which was translated into several languages and read by many physicians in Europe. A respected physician, Chauliac was invited to serve as a personal doctor to Pope Clement VI. He also played an important role during the Black Death.

 41 
Serge Moscovici
(Social psychologist)
Serge Moscovici
2
Birthdate: June 14, 1925
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brăila, Romania
Died: November 15, 2014
 42 
Jean Marc Gaspard Itard
2
Birthdate: April 24, 1774
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oraison, France
Died: July 5, 1838
 43 
Francoise Dolto
(Pediatrician)
Francoise Dolto
2
Birthdate: November 6, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 25, 1988
 44 
Alain Bombard
(French Physician Who Sailed Across the Atlantic Ocean in a Small Boat Without Provision)
Alain Bombard
2
Birthdate: October 27, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 19, 2005

Alain Bombard was a French physician, biologist, and politician. He is best remembered for his theory which states that a human being could survive a trip across the Atlantic Ocean without provision. Alain Bombard achieved popularity when he sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in a small boat without provision in order to test his theory.

 45 
Claude Perrault
(Architect)
Claude Perrault
2
Birthdate: September 25, 1613
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 9, 1688

French architect Claude Perrault is best known for his design of the Louvre’s eastern façade. Trained in math and medicine, he began his career as a physician. He was also part of the Academy of Sciences. Apart from designing the Colonnade, he had also designed the Paris Observatory.

 46 
Guillaume, Baron Dupuytren
(French Military Surgeon and Anatomist Who Became Popular After Treating Napoleon Bonaparte's Hemorrhoids)
Guillaume, Baron Dupuytren
2
Birthdate: October 5, 1777
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pierre-Buffière, France
Died: February 8, 1835

Guillaume, Baron Dupuytren was a French military surgeon and anatomist. Although he gained immense popularity after treating Napoleon Bonaparte's hemorrhoids, Dupuytren is best remembered for his description of Dupuytren's contracture. Guillaume, Baron Dupuytren was also an astute diagnostician and a brilliant teacher.

 47 
Albert Calmette
(French Bacteriologist Who Discovered the 'Bacillus Calmette-Guérin')
Albert Calmette
2
Birthdate: July 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nice, France
Died: October 29, 1933

Albert Calmette was a French bacteriologist, physician, and immunologist. He is credited with discovering the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin. He is also credited with inveting the first antivenom for snake bites. Albert Calmette also helped develop amylolysis, which was used extensively in industrial brewing.

 48 
Madeleine Pauliac
2
Birthdate: September 17, 1912
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France
Died: February 13, 1946
Part of the French Resistance movement, Madeleine Pauliac was also a doctor. She is best known for her relentless service in Poland and the Soviet Union, and her efforts in helping the French wounded in World War II. Anne Fontaine's 2016 film Les innocents portrayed her heroics during her Polish mission.
 49 
Edouard Séguin
(Physician)
Edouard Séguin
2
Birthdate: January 20, 1812
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Clamecy, France
Died: October 28, 1880
 50 
Charles Nicolle
(Bacteriologist)
Charles Nicolle
2
Birthdate: September 21, 1866
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rouen, France
Died: February 28, 1936