The Montpellier School of Pediatric Orthopedics: with the children, by the children, for the children
Teaching in Montpellier is a long and old history that began in 1235 that has, ever since, taken place without discontinuity. Pediatric orthopedic falls under the continuity of the famous professors who marked the history of orthopedic surgery: Arnaud de Villeneuve, Guy de Chaulliac, François Gigot de Lapeyronie, Jacques-Mathieu Delpech (Fig. 2), Jacques Vidal, Jean-Gabriel Pous, Yves Allieu, François Bonnel, and Pierre Rabischong. All these professors were remarkable teachers and scientists of very high level.
Through the years, many human relationships have been built, laying the ground for the creation of a real network, a real school: the School of Pediatric Orthopedics in Montpellier. There, in that ideal and inviting location, successions of doctors from France, Europe, and further afield, including important proteges who are sought-after medics and visiting scholars, have been able to benefit from the knowhow and technical excellence of the local school. Today, for instance, it is possible for a German or a Chinese surgeon to associate with a colleague from the Ivory Coast, Argentina, Switzerland, New Zealand, or Ireland on account of their common experience in Montpellier.
During the last four decades, the School of Pediatric Orthopedic in Montpellier has trained 250 high-level surgeons in 55 countries of the world. They represent Montpellier heritage, wealth, and title of nobility, and they constitute a true human force that resists all political turbulences.
The fundamental importance of the scientific contributions and research of the Montpellier School of Pediatric Orthopedics have been recognized worldwide. In this context, the works on clubfoot, on bone age as well as studies on the development and growth of the vertebral column and the rib cage in the child have received unanimous plaudits.
The statement ‘With the children, by the children, for the children’ perfectly sums up the philosophy and the logic of the Montpellier School of Pediatric Orthopedics. In this respect, the idea of a universal pediatric orthopedics – which, whatever the cost, had to cross the excessively constrained confines of national and local borders and play a role on the broader stage to achieve true excellence – guided the pupils of the school during several years.
In Montpellier, ‘bridging the world’ is an objective of every moment. All that touches childhood and all that leads to childhood are of fundamental importance.
Every pediatric orthopedic surgeon who was trained in Montpellier knows that there is always an open door to accommodate young students eager to learn and grow. Thus, the chain of the world is constituted.