American Medical Biographies/Pilcher, Paul Monroe

Pilcher, Paul Monroe (1876–1917)

Paul Monroe Pilcher, eminent surgeon and urologist, was born April 11, 1876, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Lewis Stephen Pilcher, distinguished surgeon and erudite editor of the Annals of Surgery, and of Martha S. Phillips. After his early training in the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute he graduated A. B. from the University of Michigan in 1898. From the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1900, and at the same time an A. M. from Columbia University.

After two years' residence in the Seney Hospital with his father as the senior surgeon he went abroad to come in contact with Nitze and von Frisch, and to get that poise in a life-work best secured by an intimate comparison of the old world with the new. He studied for a year in Goettingen, Vienna and Berlin, and returning home received appointments in the Seney, German, St. John's and Jewish Hospitals, later he resigned these to devote his energies to the development of a private hospital which he conducted with his father and his brothers. His work here was notable, and along other than strictly surgical lines. His methods of working up cases and his hospital reports and his follow up work remain as models.

His strong bent was toward urology with a splendid experience in general surgery as a background.

He issued the translation of Rovsing's Abdominal Surgery from the Danish, and he was the author of many scientific papers. From 1907 to 1911 he edited the Long Island Medical Journal. In 1911 he published an admirable text-book on "Practical Cystoscopy and the Diagnosis of Surgical Diseases of the Kidney and Urinary Bladder," a beautifully illustrated, fresh, lucid exposition of the new science of cystoscopy, a possession of permanent value which perhaps constitutes his most important claim to recognition as a pioneer.

To Hugh Cabot's Textbook of Modern Urology he contributed the chapter on Prostatic Obstructions, in which are embodied important original studies and methods. This was his last work, fatal illness overtaking him shortly after the completion of the manuscript.

Pilcher was operating surgeon at the Eastern Long Island Hospital at Greenport, and a member of the American Surgical and American Urological Associations and other medical societies.

In 1905 he married Mary Finlay of Montclair, New Jersey, who survived him with two sons, Lewis Stephen, 2nd, and Paul Monroe.

Of medium height with slight, spare figure and with keen, bright, expressive eyes, Pilcher had an attractive personality and was the embodiment of scientific and incessant application to professional work.

He died of pneumonia in Brooklyn, January 4, 1917.

Annals of Surgery, 1917, vol. lxv, 529–33. Portrait.
Long Island Med. Jour., 1917, vol. xi, 196–8. Portrait.