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Rudolph Matas, third president of The American Association for Thoracic Surgery, was born near New Orleans in 1860. Shortly thereafter his aristocratic Catalan family returned to the stimulating atmosphere of Paris and Barcelona. When Rodolpho was 7 yearsold, his father, a colorful and well-connected but certainly erratic surgeon, moved the family back to New Orleans and thence to the Brownsville/Matamoros area of Texas. Young Matas received an excellent early education in Matamoros schools. In 1877 he entered the medical school of the University of Louisiana, now Tulane. Having survived a near fatal attack of yellow fever, repeatedly epidemic in New Orleans, he had the important advantage of being an “immune.” As an undergraduate he won a coveted 2-year residency at the Charity Hospital and also, as an “immune” fluent in Spanish, spent 4 months as secretary of the United StatesYellow Fever Commission in Havana. On receiving his medical degree at the age of 19 years, he entered and rapidly developed a busy general practice in New Orleans, which made possible his clinical research as demonstrator of surgical anatomy at Tulane and editor of the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal.

Blessed with an encyclopedic memory, a scholarly imagination,and a capacity for hard work, Matas was a prominent contributor to the surgical scene from the start. In 1894, at the age of 34 years, he was appointed professor of surgery at Tulane, a chair he held for 33 years, then emeritus professor until his death.

Excerpt from

J. Gordon Scannell, MD.  Historical Perspectives.  Rudolph Matas (1860-1957)  J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1996;111:1294   http://jtcs.ctsnetjournals.org/cgi/content/full/111/6/1294

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A Classical Example of a Torrid Zone Disease.

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