Who was Ambroïse Peré?

   Ambroïse Peré (1510-1590) was a French barber-surgeon who became the greatest surgeon of the Renaissance. He later became known as the "father of modern surgery."
   A barber-surgeon was just what the name implies. He cut men's hair and shaved them, but he also drew blood and performed all kinds of surgery from treating cuts to amputating limbs. However, the barber-surgeons were despised by medical surgeons and barely tolerated by the people themselves. Paré's humble birth committed him to this position. He was unable to attend a university to study Greek and Latin, subjects absolutely necessary to the training of a physician of that period.
   During Fare's lifetime France was at war against Italy, Germany, and England, and later against the French Huguenots at home. After a three-year appointment at the Paris Hospital, he joined the French army and saw military service for the next thirty years. He performed so many operations of every sort on so many men that he developed new techniques and methods of treating wounds. He invented artery forceps and other types of surgical instruments.
   In 1554 Ambroïse Peré received the greatest honor of his life. He was made a member of the College of St. Come, the most important surgical society of France at the time.