Lives of the fellows

Charles Laubry

b.11 November 1872 d.11 August 1960
MD Paris(1903) *FRCP(1953)

Half a century of teaching in Paris brought to Charles Laubry a position of unique prestige and authority, and affection and admiration from cardiologists all over the world. His attractive personality and superb bedside manner made his ward-rounds a model of clinical demonstration to students and colleagues. Postgraduate work in general medicine as an externe des hôpitaux from 1894, and as an interne under Achard in 1899, led to an association with Henrie Vaquez at the Saint-Antoine Hospital and so to his life interest in cardiology. At this clinic, where he was appointed assistant to Vaquez in 1904, he worked for seventeen years, except during World War I when he had the onerous responsibility of personal physician to Clemenceau. It was not until 1921, ten years after his nomination as médecin des hôpitaux,that he became physician to La Rochefoucauld Hospital. After several moves he settled at the Broussais Hospital, where his clinic soon became one of Europe’s foremost centres of teaching and research, known especially for its investigations into congenital heart diseases and its pioneer work on cardiovascular radiology. Other subjects which claimed his attention were gallop rhythm, on which he gave the St. Cyres lecture in London in 1937, and coronary disease.

Laubry’s contributions to cardiology were not, however, confined to scientific work. He was one of the original editors of the Archives des Maladies du Coeur; in 1936 he took over its direction and immediately, with the help of its editorial board, founded the Société française de Cardiologie, becoming its first president in 1937. His energies were unbounded. When over seventy he played an important part in founding the International and European Societies of Cardiology and became the first president of the former. At seventy-eight he organised the First World Congress of Cardiology at Paris in 1950, and at eighty-two attended the Second World Congress in Washington. On his retirement from hospital duties in 1942 he had leisure to study the Latin texts of Harvey’s works, and in 1950 published his original translation of De motu cordis, prefaced by an historical review of the discovery of the circulation. He died at the age of eighty-eight and was buried in his native Burgundy.

Richard R Trail

* He was elected under the special bye-law which provides for the election to the fellowship of "Persons holding a medical qualification, but not Members of the College, who have distinguished themselves in the practice of medicine, or in the pursuit of Medical or General Science or Literature..."

[Arch. Mal Coeur, 1960, 53, 1083-91 (p); Brit. Heart J., 1941, 3, 145-6; 1961, 23, 215; Brit.med.J., 1960, 2, 1742; Bull Soc. méd. Hop. Paris, 1960, 76, 923-5, 1330-36; C.R. Acad. Sci. (Paris), 1960, 251, 1318-20; Presse méd., 1961, 69, 703-04 (p).]

(Volume V, page 239)

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