Eve, Paul (1806-1877)
- 1896 - 1995
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Historical or Biographical Note
Back in the United States in 1832, Eve was elected Professor of Surgery in the Medical College of Georgia, just then organized in Augusta, and taught there for 17 years. In 1851, Eve became Professor of Surgery in the newly organized Medical School of the University of Nashville. He served as President of the American Medical Association in 1857-58.
Paul Eve was 55 years old and teaching in Nashville when the Civil War began, and he served tirelessly from beginning to end. In 1861, before Tennnessee had seceded, Eve was appointed Surgeon General of a provisional Army of Tennessee. He worked in Nashville hospitals, treating casualties, until Forts Henry and Donelson fell in February 1862. He fled Nashville on February 16th, taking his surgical instruments with him. Six days later he was Commander and Surgeon of the Gate-City Hospital in Atlanta. This hospital was located in a second-rate hotel of 32 rooms and was constantly overcrowded with patients. In spite of difficult conditions, Eve was able to treat and return to duty a high percentage of casualties.
As a surgeon, Eve was best known for performing lithotomies. In his lifetime he performed 238 lithotomies with a mortality of only 8 percent. Eve was an all-around surgeon of international recognition. At a time when most surgeons lost many patients, he had a remarkably low mortality rate due to his preoperative preparation of the patient and his gentle handling of tissue.
Wherever he worked, Paul Eve gathered skills and invented procedures that he later taught to many medical students. In 1857 he published "A Collection of Remarkable Cases in Surgery" a 823 page text re-counting many of hismost important surgical operations. The distinguished physician/adventurer died in his Nashville home on November 3, 1877.
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Part of the VUMC Historical Images and Biographies Repository
Eskind Biomedical Library
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