Guy de Chauliac


Guy de ChauliacGuy de Chauliac was a French surgeon and physician to three popes. He authored a seven-volume physician's manual called Great surgery (Chirurgia magna) (1363), a book that was considered indispensable to his followers for three centuries.

Guy was educated at the universities of Bologna and Montpellier and dedicated himself to proving establishing the importance of surgery as a medical practice. His book was filled with references to works of great physicians. He also worked to establish criteria for becoming a surgeon: "The surgeon needs to have four qualities: first he should be learned. He should know not only the principles of surgery but also those of medicine in theory and in practice. Second, he should be expert at the practice of surgery; third, he must be ingenious and fourth, he should be able to adapt himself" (Dawson, 2005, p. 33).

When discussing speech disorders, Guy distinguished between stuttering and a disorder he called "paralyzed tongue" (dysarthria?).

Following in the Hippocratic tradition of humor theory, Guy attributed stuttering to either excessive moisture or dryness of the tongue or brain. His treatments, for stuttering as well as most other ailments involved administering to the body's humors. He recommended different astringent herbs, gargles and mouth washes to get rid of "noxious body fluids" (Brosch & Pirsig, 2001, p. 83).

Writings about Guy de Chauliac

Brosch, S. & Pirsig, W. (2001). Stuttering in history and culture International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, Volume 59, Issue 2, Pages 81-87.

Dawson, Ian (2005). The history of medicine in the middle ages. London: Hodder Wayland.

Guy de Chauliac Retrieved on March 4, 2010.