We continue in this article by Dr. Michel Kourie, pathologist and university professor: “In my opinion, the third precursor was Dr. Pieter, graduated in 1906, can be considered in our country as the father of cancerology. A doctor of very humble origins, who, based on his strong personality and his great capacity for work, manages to study medicine and, complementing his studies, travels with many sacrifices to Paris, where he carries out clinical studies, becoming interested from that moment markedly in cancerology. Upon his return to Santo Domingo, after having practiced for many years, in 1943 he founded a small annex to the Padre Billini Hospital, the first Institute of Oncology. His unbridled fight against cancer will last his whole life. His years of studies in Paris put him in contact with Pathological Anatomy, creating great concern upon his return to the country as he was unable to count on a pathologist, as he understood the importance of this specialty to practice medicine, and cancerology in particular.
His frustration disappears when he obtains the services of dr. Mario Ravelo Barré, pioneer of the Dominican Pathological Anatomy, who occupies a top chapter in these investigations. The doctor. Pieter is gradually developing the now known Miracles of Charity Institute of Oncology, based on tenacity and many sacrifices. He taught medicine at the University of Santo Domingo. He never stopped insisting, throughout his fruitful professional life, about the importance of Anatomic Pathology for the quality of Dominican medicine. My conversations with him late in his life were a real testament to how much he valued the work of pathologists in this country.
Thus, a medical student emerged in the Dominican medical world who worked as a laboratory technician with the bachelor Amadeo Báez, graduating as a doctor in Santo Domingo in 1932. I am referring to Dr. Mario Ravelo Barré, without a doubt the first Dominican pathologist with complete scientific training in this specialty. His beginnings date back to the year 1935, when he was appointed instructor of Pathological Anatomy at the University of Santo Domingo. In this teaching job he became passionate about the specialty and gradually became a pathologist, being eminently self-taught. He then began to have correspondence with that great master of world pathology such as Pierre Masson, who, understanding his effort and even without knowing him, constantly encouraged him to continue his work. At that time, he was studying some cases that operated at the Padre Billini Hospital. At that time, the Dominican-German Institute, which made great cultural and scientific contributions to the country, decided to bring a German pathologist, whose name is lost over time, who, upon arrival in the country, came into contact with Dr. Ravelo Barre. After a while, the Dominican-German Institute offered our character a scholarship to study pathology in Germany, but the Second World War broke out in 1939, frustrating the young doctor’s aspirations. In 1941 Dr. Ravelo Barré receives a scholarship to study in the USA, at the prestigious John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he spends a year working with Dr. Rich. He then goes to Puerto Rico where he works in San Juan with Enrique Kopich in the area of Tropical Pathology. He eventually travels to Montreal, Canada, studying with his legendary friend Professor Pierre Masson. The doctor. Ravelo Barre was a professor at the University of Santo Domingo, of Pathological Anatomy, being the first career pathologist to teach this discipline, and this since his first contacts with the Dominican-German Institute. Then, in 1966, he went to UNPHU when it was founded, where he worked with his son, Dr. Mario Ravelo Marchena, Dr. Logroño Batlle and the one who tells them. He passes away in this city in December 1982”.
In future works we will continue to offer data on forensic medicine in the Dominican Republic.