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Biographical entry Gosset, Antonin (1872 - 1944)

Hon FRCS 12 February 1920; MD Paris 1900.

2 January 1872
Fécamp, France
25 October 1944
Paris, France
General surgeon


Born at Fécamp on 2 January 1872, the son of a doctor, he entered the Paris Faculty of Medicine in 1889 under Théodore Tuffier. He studied in the clinics of Benjamin Anger at the Cochin Hospital and of Hanot at the St Antoine. In 1891-92 he served as externe to J C F Guyon (1831-1920) and Étienne Lancereaux (1829-1910), and in 1894-98 as interne to Paul Jules Tillaux (1834-1904), Paul Reclus (1847-1914), Guyon, and Louis-Félix Terrier (1837-1908). In 1896 he became assistant in anatomy at the Faculty and in 1897 prosector. He won the gold medal in 1899, graduated MD 1900, and was appointed chef de clinique. In 1901 he was admitted agrégé en chirurgie, and in 1903 was promoted chirurgien des hôpitaux de Paris, becoming chirurgien chef de service in 1912. Gosset made his name, while still an interne, by his successful operation in 1898 with Bernard Cuneo on Olivier, editor of La Lanterne, who had been shot by a woman during the Dreyfus affair. He performed a coeliotomy and successfully stopped nine perforations of the intestine.

Gosset's lifework was on the staff of the Salpêtrière, where he organized a very large surgical service. It was estimated that in his thirty years there he trained 100 assistants and treated 100,000 patients. During the first world war he did good work in the treatment of abdominal and cranial wounds. In 1919 be was appointed professor of surgical pathology at Paris, and promoted clinical professor the following year. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the College on 12 February 1920. In 1935 he was admitted Membre de l'Institut de France in the Académie des Sciences. He was also a member of the Académie de Chirurgie. During second war Gosset remained in Paris, where he died shortly after the liberation on 25 October 1944, aged 72.

Gosset's principal contributions were on surgery of the biliary tract, radium therapy of cancer, blood transfusion, peptic ulcer, cranioplasty cartilaginous transplant, and on nerve-grafting. With Binet and Petit-Dutaillis he introduced the use of chloride of sodium in hypertonic solution in cases of intestinal occlusion both pathologic and operative. With Ivan Bertrand he studied carcinoma of the stomach. Gosset was a close and life-long friend of Robert Proust, the well-known Paris surgeon and brother of the great novelist, and also of Roussy, Laubry, and Guillain of his own student-year, who all attained distinction in the profession.


Two volumes of Travaux were published from Gosset's surgical clinic at the Hospice de la Salpétrière, 1926-27.
He edited, with seventeen of his assistants, Techniques chirurgicales, Paris, Masson, 1936, 433 pages, to which he contributed the introductory chapter describing the organization of his surgical service at the Salpétrière.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Pr med 1944, 52, 309, eulogy by H Mondor, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England