Bernhard von Langenbeck 1810-1887

Langenbeck was born at Padingbüttel, and received his medical education at Göttingen, where one of his teachers was his uncle Konrad Johann Martin Langenbeck. He took his doctorate in 1835 with a thesis on the structure of the retina.285

Von Langenbeck is perhaps best known today as the "father of the surgical residency". Under his tutellage at the Charite in Berlin, he conceived and developed a system whereby new medical graduates would live at the hospital as they gradually assumed a greater role in the day-to-day care and supervision of surgical patients. Among his most well-known "house staff" were such illustrious surgeons as Billroth and Kocher.285

Bernard Von Langenbeck is best remembered by his inventions especially his hand held retractors, these instruments are used in probably every country in the world that has a general surgical tray.

His life as a surgeon was once again dominated by his military career specialising in the injuries received as a result of war. He is credited as the father of the house surgeon (the resident surgeon).

He was buried in Berlin on the 5 October 1887 next to his wife.





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