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Biographical entry Papo, Izidore (1913 - 1996?)

Hon FRCS 1970.

General surgeon


General Izidore Papo, always known simply as Papo, was Professor of Surgery in Belgrade and was awarded the honorary Fellowship in 1970, his citation being given by Mr Rodney Smith. Papo was born in 1913 and graduated in 1937, just in time to embark upon a surgical career before the start of the second world war. When Yugoslavia was invaded and overrun, the Yugoslav people fought on in the mountains and forests of their country and Papo's war service was in this environment. It was always said that he had been General Tito's personal medical adviser.

After the war Papo studied with Professor Yudin in Moscow and also had specialist surgical training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Stanford University, California, and the Mayo Clinic. Back in Belgrade he was recognised as a great surgeon, teacher and organiser and in 1950 was appointed chairman of the department of surgery at the Military Medical Academy of Belgrade and Surgeon General to the Yugoslav army. He was generally acclaimed as a superb operating surgeon and it was said of him at one time in the 1960s that after going to the Hammersmith Hospital to see how to do a total correction of Fallot's tetralogy he went back to his unit after watching one case and succeeded in doing twelve consecutive total repairs without mortality.

He was respected for his care and attention to detail, his kindness to his patients and his concern for their welfare, and younger men owed him much for his training schemes for surgeons and also for nurses and technicians. Papo was, therefore, a man of immense stature and ability, with strong international connections, and a man of great kindness and humanity. He is thought to have died in 1996.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England