Dr. Norman M. Rich, The International Military Surgeon: His French Connection
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In 1967, 1 was spending (and enjoying) a year at Duke University doing research with Dr. D. Silver, under the tutelage of Dr. D. Sabiston. Time was passing by very quickly. Before going back to Paris I wanted to visit Walter Reed General Hospital, which was for me the nec plus ultra of American military medicine. A colleague of Dr. Silver gave me the telephone number of a surgeon he met in Vietnam who was now the Chief of the Vascular Surgery Department at Walter Reed. His name was Norman Rich. I called him, we made an appointment, and I flew to Washington. That visit was the beginning of a true and long friendship which had an enormous influence, not only on my career, but also on my family life when I moved, with my wife, to the United States.
I remember vividly our first meeting. Young and ambitious, we discussed ways of reaching excellence in the operating room, and ways of putting military surgery at the level of civilian academic surgery. During the following five...