Famous French Physicians

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.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur
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Famous As: Chemist and Microbiologist
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

Nostradamus
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Famous As: Astrologer
Birthdate: December 14, 1503
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Died: July 1, 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

René Laennec
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Famous As: Inventor of Stethoscope
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

Albert Schweitzer
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Famous As: Theologian, Polymath
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 Antoine-Augustin Parmentier

Antoine-Augustin Parmentier
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Famous As: Botanist, Pharmacist, Physician, Agronomist, Nutritionist
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.

 6 Frantz Fanon

Frantz Fanon
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Famous As: Psychiatrist
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.

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 7 Jean-Martin Charcot

Jean-Martin Charcot
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Famous As: Neurologist
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.
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 8 Jacques Lacan

Jacques Lacan
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Famous As: Psychoanalyst, Psychiatrist
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.”

 9 Jean-Paul Marat

Jean-Paul Marat
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Famous As: Physician
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.

 10 François Rabelais

François Rabelais
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Chinon, France
Died: 1553 AD

François Rabelais was a French writer, Renaissance humanist, physician, monk, and Greek scholar. Regarded as one of the great writers by Western literary critics, Rabelais is also considered one of the creators of modern European writing. He is remembered for Gargantua and Pantagruel, a pentalogy of novels that are regarded as one of the earliest forms of the modern novel.

 11 R. D. Laing

R. D. Laing
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Famous As: Psychiatrist
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.

 12 Gustave Le Bon

Gustave Le Bon
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Famous As: Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Psychologist, Philosopher, Historian, Sociologist
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.

 13 Félix Guattari

Félix Guattari
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Villeneuve-les-Sablons, France
Died: August 29, 1992

 14 Ambroise Paré

Ambroise Paré
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Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: 1510 AD
Birthplace: Laval, France
Died: December 20, 1590

 15 Paul Broca

Paul Broca
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: June 28, 1824
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Gironde, France
Died: July 9, 1880

 16 Alexis Carrel

Alexis Carrel
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Famous As: Surgeon, Biologist
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.

 17 François Quesnay

François Quesnay
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Famous As: Former economist known for publishing the "Tableau économique" (Economic Table) in 1758
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. 

 18 François Bernier

François Bernier
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Famous As: Physician and traveller
Birthdate: September 25, 1620
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Joué-Étiau, France
Died: September 22, 1688

 19 Bernard Kouchner

Bernard Kouchner
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Famous As: Physician, Politician, Diplomat
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.

 20 Alexandre Yersin

Alexandre Yersin
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Famous As: Discoverer of Yersinia Pestis
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.

 21 Georges Gilles de la Tourette

Georges Gilles de la Tourette
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Famous As: Physician, Psychiatrist, Neurologist
Birthdate: October 30, 1857
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint-Gervais-les-Trois-Clochers
Died: May 26, 1904

 22 Paul Gachet

Paul Gachet
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: July 30, 1828
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lille, France
Died: January 9, 1909

 23 Jean-Baptiste Charcot

Jean-Baptiste Charcot
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: July 15, 1867
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: September 16, 1936

 24 David Servan-Schreiber

David Servan-Schreiber
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Famous As: Neuroscientist and psychiatrist
Birthdate: April 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: July 24, 2011

 25 Serge Voronoff

Serge Voronoff
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Famous As: Surgeon, Immunologist, Gynaecologist
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.

 26 Agnès Buzyn

Agnès Buzyn
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 1, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France

 27 Jean-Étienne-Dominique Esquirol

Jean-Étienne-Dominique Esquirol
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Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: February 3, 1772
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Toulouse, France
Died: December 12, 1840

 28 Gabriel Tarde

Gabriel Tarde
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Famous As: Sociologist
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.

 29 Michel Aupetit

Michel Aupetit
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Famous As: Catholic priest
Birthdate: March 23, 1951
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Versailles, France

 30 Julien Offroy de La Mettrie

Julien Offroy de La Mettrie
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Famous As: Physician and Philosopher, and one of the earliest of the French materialists of the Enlightenment
Birthdate: November 23, 1709
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint-Malo, France
Died: November 11, 1751

 31 Dominique Jean Larrey

Dominique Jean Larrey
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Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: July 8, 1766
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Beaudéan, France
Died: July 25, 1842

 32 Thelonious Bernard

Thelonious Bernard
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Famous As: Dentist
Birthdate: January 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: France

 33 Verónika Mendoza

Verónika Mendoza
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Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: December 9, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Sebastián, Peru

 34 Elsa Cayat

Elsa Cayat
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Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: March 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sfax, Tunisia
Died: January 7, 2015

 35 Duchenne de Boulogne

Duchenne de Boulogne
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Famous As: Photographer, Neurologist, Physician
Birthdate: September 17, 1806
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boulogne-sur-Mer
Died: September 15, 1875

 36 Pierre Fauchard

Pierre Fauchard
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: 1678 AD
Birthplace: Saint-Denis-de-Gastines, France
Died: March 22, 1761

 37 Georges Canguilhem

Georges Canguilhem
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: June 4, 1904
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Castelnaudary, Aude, France
Died: September 11, 1995

 38 Claudie Haigneré

Claudie Haigneré
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Famous As: Doctor
Birthdate: May 13, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Le Creusot, France

 39 Guy De Chauliac

Guy De Chauliac
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Famous As: Was a French Physician and Surgeon
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.

 40 Jérôme Lejeune

Jérôme Lejeune
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Famous As: Pediatrician
Birthdate: June 13, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montrouge, France
Died: April 3, 1994

 41 Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran

Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran
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Famous As: Physician
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.

 42 Serge Moscovici

Serge Moscovici
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Famous As: Social psychologist
Birthdate: June 14, 1925
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brăila, Romania
Died: November 15, 2014

 43 Jean Marc Gaspard Itard

Jean Marc Gaspard Itard
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: April 24, 1774
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oraison, France
Died: July 5, 1838

 44 Francoise Dolto

Francoise Dolto
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Famous As: Pediatrician
Birthdate: November 6, 1908
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 25, 1988

 45 Alain Bombard

Alain Bombard
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Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: October 27, 1924
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 19, 2005

 46 Madeleine Pauliac

Madeleine Pauliac
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Famous As: Doctor
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.

 47 Claude Perrault

Claude Perrault
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Famous As: Architect
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.

 48 Albert Calmette

Albert Calmette
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: July 12, 1863
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nice, France
Died: October 29, 1933

 49 Guillaume, Baron Dupuytren

Guillaume, Baron Dupuytren
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Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: October 5, 1777
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pierre-Buffière, France
Died: February 8, 1835

 50 Edouard Séguin

Edouard Séguin
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: January 20, 1812
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Clamecy, France
Died: October 28, 1880