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This article was published in The American Surgeon Volume 81, Issue 6, June 2015, Pages 547-549.

The published version is available at PMID: 26031264. Copyright © Ingenta


Edward William Alton Ochsner kept a plain, metal card file in which he recorded close to 50 years worth of medical experiences, research, and insights. The most populated topics were filed as "Cancer, Lung" and "Cancer, Bronchogenic." These reflected his areas of greatest interest, for which he would go on to produce groundbreaking work. Of his many lifetime accomplishments, he is perhaps best known for being the first to report a link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. This was just one of the many ways in which Ochsner worked to effect social change. The establishment of the Ochsner Health System in New Orleans was born from this similar passion. Ochsner went on to become one of the giants of his generation as a result of this tireless work as a leader, educator, and mentor.