He studied medicine, humanities and languages (particularly Greek) in Paris, afterwards serving as a surgeon in military hospitals. Finding military surgery distasteful, he opted for work as a pharmacist at Val-de-Grâce. Severely depressed by the untimely death of his wife, his friends convinced him to leave Paris and travel as a remedy for his melancholic state. After obtaining his doctorate in medicine at Strasbourg in 1805 (graduate thesis "Essai d'entomologie médicale"), he relocated to Holland, where he remained for several years. Later on, he followed armies to Prussia, Poland, Austria and the Illyrian Provinces, and in the meantime, learned the languages of the countries he visited, while also conducting extensive research in their libraries. In retirement, he settled in Paris, spending the latter years of his life suffering from phthisis.
^"Parts of this article are based on a translation of an equivalent article at the French Wikipedia, source listed as": Amédée Dechambre (1874). Encyclopedic Dictionary of Medical Sciences , Volume fifteenth. G. Masson (Paris).