François-Joseph-Victor Broussais

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François-Joseph-Victor Broussais
François-Joseph-Victor Broussais.jpg
François-Joseph-Victor Broussais
Born 17 December 1772
St Malo
Died 17 November 1838
Nationality French
Fields medicine

François-Joseph-Victor Broussais (17 December 1772, St Malo – 17 November 1838, Vitry-sur-Seine) was a French physician.


From his father, who was also a physician, he received his first instructions in medicine, and he studied for some years at a college in Dinan named after him, "Collège François Broussais". At the age of seventeen he entered one of the newly formed republican regiments, but ill-health compelled him to withdraw after two years. He resumed his medical studies, and then obtained an appointment as surgeon in the navy. In 1799 he proceeded to Paris, where in 1803 he graduated as M.D. In 1805 he again joined the army in a professional capacity, and served in Germany and the Netherlands. He returned to Paris, then left again for active service in Spain.

In 1814 he returned to Paris, and was appointed assistant-professor to the military hospital of the Val-de-Grace, where he first promulgated his views on the relation between life and stimulus, and on the physiological interdependence and sympathies of the various organs. His lectures were attended by great numbers of students, keen on his new theories.

By degrees his doctrines triumphed, and in 1831 he was appointed professor of general pathology in the academy of medicine. Towards the end of his life he attracted large audiences by lectures on phrenology.


In 1808 he published his Histoire des phlegmasies ou inflammations chroniques; and in Examen de la doctrine médicale généralement adopte, which brought the opposition of the medical faculty of Paris; In 1828 he published a work De l'irritation et de la folie.