Who was Vera Gedroits?, Google shows Doodle and celebrates Russian surgeon, professor, poet, and author Dr. Vera Gedroits on her 151st birthday.
Vera Gedroits was a military doctor. She was the first female professor of surgery, and the first woman to serve as a physician in the Imperial Palace of Russia.
Dr. Gedroits is credited as the country’s first female military surgeon and one of the world’s first female professors of surgery, who saved countless lives through her fearless service and innovations in the field of wartime medicine.
Vera Ignatievna Gedroits was born on this day in 1870 into a prominent family of Lithuanian royal descent in Kiev, then part of the Russian Empire. In her late teens, she left Russia to study medicine in Switzerland. Dr. Gedroits returned home at the turn of the 20th century, and she soon began her pioneering medical career as the surgeon at a factory hospital.
When the Russo-Japanese War broke out in 1904, Dr. Gedroits volunteered as a surgeon on a Red Cross hospital train. Under threat of enemy fire, she performed complex abdominal operations in a converted railway car with such unprecedented success that her technique was adopted as the new standard by the Russian government. Following her battlefield service, Dr. Gedroits worked as a surgeon for the Russian royal family before her return home to Kiev, where she was appointed professor of surgery at the University of Kiev in 1929.
She authored several medical papers on nutrition and surgical treatments during her time as a professor, but her talent as a writer was not limited to academics. Dr. Gedroits also published multiple collections of poems, and several nonfiction works, including the 1931 memoir simply titled “Life,” which told the story of her personal journey that led to service on the front lines in 1904.
Thank you, Vera Gedroits, for pushing the world of medicine forward, even with the odds stacked against you.
Who was Vera Gedroits? is briefly explained in this video.
She died in March 1932.