George P. Noon is currently a Professor of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, specializing in transplant surgery and assist devices. His association with DeBakey began in the 1950s when he was a Baylor medical student, and continued during his surgical residencies. He later became DeBakey's surgical partner, working with him on many surgical advances including aneurysm repair, heart transplants, cardiac assist devices, and artificial hearts. In this interview, Dr. Noon talks about his work with DeBakey, noting that he was "a tough taskmaster." He discusses DeBakey's accomplishments, including his role in developing the first MASH units during World War II, the establishment of the National Library of Medicine, and his many advances in cardiovascular surgery. He also talks about DeBakey's longstanding professional connections with surgeons in the Soviet Union, and the bypass operation done on Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996, under DeBakey's supervision. Other notable DeBakey patients (e.g., the Duke of Windsor and the Shah of Iran) are discussed. Noon provides details about the history of DeBakey's work on artificial hearts and assist devices. He talks about his mentor's reputation in the international medical community, as well as his reputation as an educator in Houston. Dr. Noon also relates his experience operating on DeBakey to repair a dissecting aneurysm in 2006.. Retired cardiac surgeons Steven Phillips and L. Thompson Bowles also contributed to this interview.
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