Forssmann’s Courage Rewarded with “Professional Criticism and Scorn”

(p. 197) Forssmann’s report in the leading German medical journal garnered him not hosannas but instead fierce professional criticism and scorn. In response to a senior physician who claimed undocumented priority for the procedure, the twenty-five-year-old Forssmann was forced to provide an addendum to his publication one month later. Rigid dogmatism and an authoritarian hierarchy characterized the German medicine of that day. The human heart, as the center of life, was considered inviolable by instrumentation and surgery.

Source:
Meyers, Morton A. Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2007.

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