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Alfred Blalock and Our Heritage

J. Garrott Allen, MD
Arch Surg. 1964;89(5):929-931. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01320050175018.
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Dr. Alfred Blalock (1899-1964) was a remarkable man, a man whose career never ceased to grow, a man whose greatest gift was his incisive way of sifting from all he experienced that which was important and enduring. With this gift, evident throughout his professional career, he developed a rare degree of wisdom and judgment. These provided the perspective which enabled him clearly to express his thoughts and conclusions—conclusions that fostered convictions. These were not always what he wished and hoped, for at times they were affected by the pragmatic nature of things as he saw them.

Throughout his life he never lost sight of three pursuits: teaching, research, and patient care. In his later years, he occasionally expressed doubt that a surgeon today could excel in all three; his own example seemed to belie this view, but perhaps only because his talents were so many and his ability to use


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