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Mark Ravitch was born in New York City. He received his BA from the University of Oklahoma in 1930 and his MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1934. After nine years of residency training which included a chief residency with Alfred Blalock, Ravitch served as a US Army surgeon achieving the rank of major. Ravitch returned to the Johns Hopkins University Department of Surgery in 1946, leaving in 1952 to become a clinical professor of surgery at Columbia University. He returned to Johns Hopkins University in 1956 as the Surgeon-in-Chief at the Baltimore City Hospitals. Ravitch was promoted to professor in 1965 and left the next year to become a professor of pediatric surgery at the University of Chicago. His last career move was to the University of Pittsburgh as professor of surgery. Ravitch published hundreds of papers, book chapters and journal articles and was the editor of many surgical texts. As the official historian of the American Surgical Association, he wrote a definitive history of the specialty entitled, A Century of American Surgery, covering the period 1880-1980. He also served as president of the American Surgical Association in 1983. Ravitch was the recipient of many awards including The Ladd Medal from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1972, the McGraw Medal and Denis Browne Gold Medal from the British Association of Pediatric Surgeons.

Scope and Content

The Mark Ravitch collection consists of one autobiographical manuscript. The first 57 pages are entitled, “Sketches from the Johns Hopkins” which covers Ravitch’s medical school and residency training years. The remaining vignettes cover experiences and observations during his professional life.

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