Talk about an overachiever

“I have little tolerance for incompetence, sloppy thinking and laziness…”

Michael E DeBakey

Michael DeBakey was American born in 1908 and lived for 99 years. He was a practicing surgeon for over 75 of those years. Whilst a medical undergraduate, he developed a roller pump which would later be a component of the heart lung machine. He was a born innovator, in WW2 he set up the famous MASH Units to provide more timely surgical care to the wounded, and an iconic TV series. He had firsts with coronary bypass grafting, carotid endarterectomy and artificial hearts. Most importantly for him, he pioneered the use of dacron grafts for aortic aneurysm surgery. This procedure he underwent successfully himself at 97 years of age. His name lives on in nearly all operating theatres, with the DeBakey atraumatic forceps being a part of most theatre instrument trays. They are even used by humble Breast Endocrine surgeons.

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