Paul C. Bucy
1960, Chicago, IL
Dr. Paul C. Bucy, the honored guest of the 1960 meeting of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, is a long-time friend of this organization. Dr. Bucy generously served as a principal speaker at the first (and the only unpublished) meeting of the Congress in 1951.
Born in Hubbard, Iowa, on November 13, 1904, Dr. Bucy wasted no time in pursuing the studies which led to his attainment of eminence in the neurological world. By his 23rd birthday he had: earned his B.S. and M.D. degrees and the degree of M.S. in neuropathology at the State University of Iowa; seen his first scientific publication in print; and started internship at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. He had also courted and married his wife, Evelyn. The two had met over the telephone wires when they were both rural exchange operators.
In 1928, Dr. Bucy joined Dr. Percival Bailey's newly created neurosurgical staff at the University of Chicago, as its first resident, becoming an instructor two years later. In 1930 and 1931, as a traveling fellow, he worked under Dr. Gordon Holmes at the National Hospital, Queen Square, London, and under Dr. Otfrid Foerster in Breslau, Germany. In 1933 he carried out an extensive program of neurophysiological research in the laboratory of the late Dr. John F. Fulton at Yale University. Upon returning to the University of Chicago, Dr. Bucy remained on the neurosurgical staff, rising to rank of associate professor, being in charge of neurological surgery beginning in 1939.
In 1941 Dr. Bucy left the University of Chicago and entered private practice, working at Chicago Memorial Hospital, where he was chief of staff for 11 years. In 1954 he began his clinical practice at Chicago Wesley Memorial Hospital, where he is in charge of the division of neurological surgery. However, he has continued to be most active as a teacher, being professor of neurology and neurological surgery at the University of Illinois until 1954 and since then professor of surgery at Northwestern University. Although he is expert and fluent as a didactic lecturer, Dr. Bucy's teaching of his residents stresses careful and thorough observation of patients. His intense interest in clinical neurosurgical problems stimulates in his residents a thirst for more and more understanding in this field.
The diversity of Dr. Bucy's neurological interests is proved by the wide variety of subjects dealt with in his bibliography. He has made important contributions to knowledge in the fields of neuropathology, neurophysiology, clinical neurology, and neurological surgery. He has articipated in the writing of the classic volumes, Intracranial Tumors of Infancy and Childhood (with Percival Bailey and Douglas Buchanan), The Precentral Motor Cortex, and Neurology (with Roy Grinker and Adolph Sahs). A member of the Literary Club of Chicago, Dr. Bucy has also written fascinating accounts of some of the colorful characters of early midwestern America overlooked by other historians.
Dr. Bucy has long been a leader in neurology and neurological surgery. He helped found the Harvey Cushing Society, was elected as its president in 1951, and is presently its director of publications. He has been chairman of the Section on Nervous and Mental Diseases of the American Medical Association, president of the Chicago Neurological Society, and vice president of the Chicago Surgical Society. He was made vice president of the American Neurological Association in 1954. From 1943 to 1947 he served as secretary-treasurer of the American Board of Neurological Surgery.
In recent years Dr. Bucy has been concerned with the development of neurological surgery abroad. He has made extensive trips, visiting neurological surgeons in Europe, the Near East, the Far East, and South America. He participated in the formation of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies and has served as its president (1957-1961).
As a man of scientific distinction, a master surgeon with vast clinical experience, a great teacher, a leader of neurological surgeons. Dr. Bucy could well be respected for these traits alone. But his pupils, patients, and colleagues will testify to his kindness, his utter lack of affectation, and his forthright honesty, which engender confidence and endear him to all.