Thursday, May 13, 2010


The smug looking fellow above is one Georgios Papanikolaou, born this day 1883 in Kimi, Greece. Women throughout the world might (maybe) recognize the name. He graduated from the University of Athens with his medical degree in 1904, and eventually wound up as a pathologist at New York hospital. It was there, in 1928, that he made the "discovery" that puts him on our hero podium for today. He first that uterine cancer can be diagnosed by means of a vaginal smear. Hence the name "Pap Smear." The importance of his work was not realized until he and another doctor published a paper on his discovery in 1943. Millions of women have had to endure his test since, and I am quite certain that the test has saved untold lives. Granted, I have no direct benefit from the good doctor's discovery, and do not know anyone personally that had their life saved by an early detection of the disease he tried to treat, but we all should still give a silent word of thanks to him for his genius. So, for discovering that method that has saved all sorts of lives, Georgios Papanikolaou, (May 13th, 1883-Feburary 19th, 1962, at the age of 78), you are my (260th) hero of the day.

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