This Friday 2/7/20, we are going to celebrate in Nice the 80 years of Professor François Demard, whose brilliant career commands respect.
Former holder of the cervico-maxillofacial chair at the University of Nice, he was my first professor of surgery, my first university boss and one of the great men to follow.
Pr. Demard directed the Antoine Lacassagne center in Nice between 1985 and 1996, and was behind the creation of the University Institute for Face and Neck. This service later became the first service in France specializing in Face and Neck Surgery. François Demard received the Legion of Honor badges in 2018.
It was thanks to him that I decided in 1978 to move towards a career as a surgeon.
Let me tell you the story and the birth of a passion!
During one of the countless lectures given at the time, in the first year of medicine, we were feverishly awaiting a course in Head and Neck Anatomy. More than 900 students filled the benches of the Faculty of Medicine of Nice in the large amphitheater, avenue de Vallombrose, in an indescribable heckling. No tablet in these time immemorial, no smartphone, not even laptop. Notebook, pen, ears, big mouths and wide-open brains!
As soon as Professor François Demard enters, suddenly there is silence. A silence of respect, of admiration in front of his presence and his elegance.
The course then takes place in a fluid, clear, luminous way: the bones of the skull and spine, the muscles of the face and neck, the incredible vessels and nerves of
complexity, appear simple and obvious to us.
All this illustrated by precise drawings, made with colored chalk, on a huge double blackboard 2 meters high and 10m wide, without the slightest hesitation or the slightest correction: a pictorial and anatomical masterpiece is reveals to our eyes young students. All in a communicative good humor, a faconde and a good oratorical ease. Result: the complex anatomy of the head and neck becomes a passion to explore and becomes obvious for the rest of my career: I would be a surgeon … like this gentleman. my path is being traced, to follow in the footsteps of this great man, without my knowing it yet.
I actually followed this path a few years later, in 1984, after successfully completing my internship competition. Once my internal diploma in specialized surgery in my pocket, I naturally made my first choice of internship in surgery in his department in 1984; then 5 years of training. Pr. Demard then appointed me his Head of Clinic- assistant of hospitals between 1989 and 1991 in his Department of Face and Neck Surgery in Nice. I am very pleased to attend, with my colleagues and friends, all of his former students, the birthday celebration of this great gentleman.