In 1986, the worldwide medical community felt a distinct loss at the passing of Tulane alumnus and former chair of the Department of Medicine, Dr. George E. Burch. His remarkable story and his legacy as a medical pioneer are told by his daughter Vivian Burch Martin in the book “The Celestial Society: A Life in Medicine.”
Burch’s story begins along the bayous of South Louisiana where from an early age he was immersed in the field of medicine as he shadowed his father, a country physician. At Tulane medical school, his zest for knowledge and innate curiosity made him a standout among students and began his tremendous influence in medicine and cardiology.
As a pioneering researcher, an inspiring educator, prolific writer, and electrifying lecturer, Burch’s depth and range of activities are tremendous. To fully capture her father’s life work, Martin spent 18 years interviewing more than 200 subjects and pouring over thousands of scientific and personal papers.
“I thought when I originally started, that because it was my father, I knew everything he had done but that was not the case at all. There were these big things that I never knew about,” says Martin.
One of those projects was the Tulane National Primate Research Center. Martin was surprised to learn that her father was heavily involved in the creation of eight National Primate Research Centers and was instrumental in the process of securing National Institutes of Health funding for a research center at Tulane.
Not only does Martin hope that readers learn new and interesting facts about the medical pioneer, but she also hopes they understand her father’s passion and dedication to patient-centered care.
To purchase “The Celestial Society: A Life in Medicine” and learn more about the legacy of Dr. George E. Burch, click here. The book is available in hardcover, softcover and e-book.