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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


HUMPHREYS, Juan D  and  YOUNG, Pablo. Paul Hamilton Wood: The foremost British clinical cardiologist of the 20th century. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2012, vol.140, n.1, pp.121-124. ISSN 0034-9887.

In the United Kingdom, during the mid-20th century, Paul Wood appears as the new leader of European cardiology. He introduced rigorous bed-side diagnostic methods and the confirmation of these clinical findings by cardiac catheterization, in an effort to demonstrate the pathophysiological causes of cardiac disease. In his search for the correct diagnosis, his comments, which could be caustic, both impressed and offended many. He had a strong commanding personality and was intensely honest in his appreciations. His showmanship and diagnostic ability became renown. In 1950, the publishing of the first edition of his textbook "Diseases of the Heart and Circulation" brought him worldwide recognition. In this book, Wood introduces his personal fresh style of narrative and his physiologic approach to cardiology. His intense professional activity, teaching, lecturing and preparing the third edition of his book, plus the fact that he was a heavy smoker, must have been the factors that lead to a myocardial infarction and death at the early age of 54. As Paul Dudley White and Ignacio Chávez in America, Paul Wood in Europe will be remembered as the emblematic figure leading the transition of cardiology into the modern era.

Keywords : Cardiology; Diagnosis, differential; History of Medicine.

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