Forest Dewey Dodrill was born in Webster Springs, West Virginia back in 1902. He earned his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in 1925. After graduation, he went to the Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1930. He did his residency at the Harper Hospital in Detroit where he became a staff surgeon.
He continued his education at the University of Michigan receiving a Master of Surgery Degree in 1942. However, what he is most noted for was something that he did on July 3, 1952. On that day, he operated on Henry Opitek, it was the first successful open-heart surgery, using a machine developed by hi and researchers at General Motors. That machine the Dodrill-GMR was the first operational mechanical heart used by performing open heart surgery.
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