Andreas Vesalius Accomplishments

Andreas Vesalius, the famed Belgian anatomist, is regarded as the founder of modern anatomy. As a scientist himself, he made a few milestones in scientific development. Here are his accomplishments:

He Became Professor Of Anatomy And Surgery At a Young Age.

To become a physician, one needs to qualify as a doctor. With this in mind, Vesalius went to the renowned seat of learning in Northern Italy, the University of Padua, where the professors quickly noticed that Vesalius was an exceptional student. With such an impression, they permitted him to sit his final exams almost immediately, and Vesalius was awarded his doctorate just before he turned 23. Eventually, the senior academics at Padua promptly appointed him to be the professor of anatomy and surgery of the university.

He Published One Of The Most Famed Human Anatomy Books, “De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem”.

Vesalius’s commitment to actual observation was highly evident in his edition of some of works of Aelius Galenus (Galen) in 1540, but especially in his epoch-making work “De humani corporis fabrica libri septem” or “Seven Books on the Construction of the Human Body”, which he published in Basel in 1543. These books discussed major parts of the body, such as bones, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, abdominal organs, chest and neck, as well as the brain. Some of the work’s woodcut illustrations are regarded as among the best of 16th-century drawings, and were even probably executed by the German-born Italian painter, Jan Stephan van Calcar. The revolutionary aspect of the books became the dominating role of observation as the very foundation of developments in anatomy.

He Became a Medical Staff Of Charles V.

Like other geniuses of his time, such as Thomas More and Copernicus, Vesalius was a strong traditionalist and a daring innovator. So, as far as theory was concerned, the meticulous observer Vesalius did not part with Galen. Not long after the publication of his “De humani corporis fabrica libri septem”, he sought service on Charles V’s medical staff and was immediately accepted.

He Established a Private Medical Practice In Brussels.

In 1544, Vesalius married Anne von Hamme, where he also increased his holdings with what he inherited from his father. Then in 1553, he established a private practice as a physician in Brussels and his official ties with the court of Charles V ended in 1556.

Aside from the factual achievements mentioned above, Vesalius was said to have taken the pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1564. It has been disputed whether he used such a journey as a pretext to leave Spain and the imperial court as an opportunity to study medicinal plants on the plains of Jericho—a subject that he is known to have discussed on his way to Jerusalem. However, some people believe that Vesalius might have very well made his pilgrimage out of devotion, like the other millions of pilgrims before and after him. Upon his return, he was supposed to take the seat of Fallopio (who suddenly died) in Padua, but Vesalius himself died on the island of Zenta off the coast of Greece.

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