CME INDIA Presentation by ⚜ Dr. M. Gowri Sankar, MD, Senior Assistant Professor, Dept. of General Medicine, Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, Coimbatore.

Today’s History Feature:

Dr. Harvey Cushing

(Apr 8, 1869 – Oct 7, 1939)

💠American Neurosurgeon

His contributions…

🔹Cushing was born in a physician family. In fact, his family raised physicians for three generations. As he got inspired by his physician father, he studied medicine at Harvard Medical School and received his medical degree in 1895.

🔹After completing his studies, he started working under the world-famous pioneering surgeon Prof. William Stewart Halsted at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. There he formed a long-lasting friendship with Sir William Osler.

🔹He further worked under Dr. Theodor Kocher at Bern and then with Dr. Charles Sherrington at Liverpool.

🔹During his time with Kocher, he was the first to describe the Cushing reflex & Cushing’s triad in 1901 and along with Sherrington, he mapped the motor cortex of apes.

🔹At the age of 32 years, he got appointed as the secondary Professor of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins hospital and then became a Professor of Surgery in the Harvard Medical School in 1912.

🔹Subsequently, Dr. Cushing identified various types of brain tumours and accordingly prepared the advanced operating procedures and techniques, which became the fundamental for neurosurgery. Also, he performed more than 2000 intracerebral tumors during his long career.

🔹Moreover, he was the first to describe the pituitary adenoma with Cushing’s Disease or Cushing’s Syndrome in 1912. Thereby, he became one of the Founders of Endocrinology.

🔹He then coined the term Meningioma.

🔹He was an early adopter of the Italian Physician Riva Rocci’s invention – wall mounted mercury manometer with balloon-Inflated cuff to measure systolic blood pressure.

🔹Also, he was the first to introduce BP apparatus in United States. He then emphasized the need of BP measurement during surgery and post-operatively.

🔹His Eponyms…

🔅 Cushing’s reflex – A physiological nervous system response to raise intracranial pressure that results in Cushing’s triad.

🔅 Cushing’s triad – Increased blood pressure, irregular breathing & bradycardia.

🔅 Cushing’s ulcer – A gastric ulcer associated with increased intracranial pressure.

🔅 Cushing’s syndrome – A condition that occurs from long term exposure to high cortisol levels.

🔹Additionally, he had an illustrative career and published more than 300 articles and 13 books.

🔹In the year 1926, he published an autobiography of the Founding Father of Modern Medicine – Sir William Osler. He received the Pulitzer Prize for the same.

🔹In fact, he had a habit of reading History of Medicine all his days. His all-brain specimen – around 500 collections – have displayed at Yale Medical School Library, New Haven.

🔹His majestic work earned him the recognition of World’s First Successful Brain Surgeon in the early 20th century and a world leader in his field. Thus, he was given the title of The Father of Modern Neurological Surgery.

A Day to Commemorate

A Great Medical Pioneer

Dr. Harvey Cushing 🙏🏼

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