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Interesting Facts about Russian surgeon and author Vera Gedroits



Interesting Facts about Russian surgeon Vera Gedroits

Search engine giant Google celebrates Russian doctor of medicine and author Vera Gedroits (Ве́ра Гедро́йц), the first female military surgeon in Russia and one of the world’s first female professors of surgery, with a Google Doodle on April 19, 2021.

vera gedroits 151st birthday
Vera Gedroits (Ве́ра Гедро́йц)

Here is a look at the life and work of Vera Gedroits (Ве́ра Гедро́йц).


  • Birth name: Vera Ignatievna Gedroits (Ве́ра Игна́тьевна Гедро́йц)
  • Other names: Vera Gedroyts, Vera Gedroitz, Vera Gedröitz, Vera Giedroyć, Vyera Ignat’yevna Gyedroycz
  • Birthdate: 19 April 1870
  • Birthplace: Slobodishche, Oryol Governorate, Russian Empire
  • Died on: March 1932 (aged 61)
  • Death place: Kiev, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union
  • Father name: Prince Ignatiy Ignatievich Gedroits (Игнатий Игнатьевич Гедройц)
  • Mother name: Daria Konstantinovna Mikhau (Дарья Константиновна Михау)
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Eduction:
    • Bryansk women’s gymnasium
    • University of Lausanne
    • University of Moscow
  • Famous as: Sergei Gedroits
  • Known as: Doctor of medicine, surgeon, professor, poet, and author

Read More: Vera Gedroits: Google Doodle celebrates Russian first female military surgeon’s 151st birthday

55 Interesting Facts about Vera Gedroits

  1. Princess Vera Ignatievna Gedroits (Ве́ра Игна́тьевна Гедро́йц) was known literary by pen name Sergei Gedroits. She was born into a prominent family of Lithuanian royal descent in Kiev, then part of the Russian Empire. Her father’s family belonged to a Lithuanian princely clan which shared its origins with the more famous Radziwiłł family. Her mother’s family were Russified Germans and her maternal grandfather served as a captain in the military.
  2. Vera Gedroits (Ве́ра Гедро́йц) was a Russian doctor of medicine, surgeon, professor, poet, and author. She was the first female military surgeon in Russia, the first female professor of surgery, and the first woman to serve as a doctor in the Imperial Palace of Russia.
  3. In adolescence, Vera Gedroits built up an interest in medicine, vowing to become a doctor with the goal that she could assist with preventing suffering. The vivacious Vera Gedroits became the children’s instigator, frequently dressing in boys’ clothes for accommodation.
  4. Gedroits went to the Bryansk women’s gymnasium under Vasily Rozanov for a period however was ousted for mischief focused on her teachers.
  5. Vera Gedroits (Ве́ра Гедро́йц) proceeded with her education in St. Petersburg, going to the medical courses of the anatomy professor Peter Lesgaft. While there, Gedroits got associated with the revolutionary youth movement, taking part in the populist circle of Victor Alexandrovich Veynshtok. Alongside different individuals from the group, she was arrested in 1892. The police brought her back.
  6. Quick to proceed with her studies, however incapable to do as such in Russia, Gedroits organized a marriage of accommodation with a companion from St. Petersburg, Nikolai Belozerov. Even though Gedroits was openly lesbian, she and Belozerov actively corresponded, met frequently, and traveled together.
  7. Belozerov’s military career took him to Irkutsk in Siberia, while Gedroits utilized her new name to get a visa and slip into Switzerland.
  8. Vera Gedroits (Ве́ра Гедро́йц) entered the University of Lausanne, where she trained to be a surgeon in the clinic of professor César Roux, graduating in 1898. Acquiring almost amazing marks, she got her diploma as a Doctor of Medicine and Surgery.
  9. Upon receipt of her diploma, Vera Gedroits initially functioned as an intern in a therapy clinic, yet was soon posted as a junior assistant to Roux. Doing scientific studies, she became Roux’s senior assistant and he subsequently offered her the post of Privatdozent.
  10. Vera Gedroits started an ardent lesbian affair, yet had to get back to Russia when she got an arguing letter from her dad because of illnesses in her family. He encouraged her to return and help him, promising to help her protected work in a new 10-bed factory hospital that was being constructed. Believing she had a duty to her family, she hesitantly got back to Slobodishche in 1900.
  11. On her return, Vera Gedroits was quickly recruited at the Maltsov Cement Factory in the Zhizdrinsky District of the Kaluga Oblast as the plant’s doctor. Even though fundamentally responsible for the medical requirements of the workers and their families, she kept an eye on nearby locals too, as she was the only doctor in the district.
  12. By 1901, Gedroits had performed 248 operations with insignificant fatalities, including amputations, herniation repair, and setting broken bones, many caused by the troublesome working conditions of the workers.
  13. Invited to take an interest in the Third Congress of Surgeons in 1902, Vera Gedroits introduced a report on a surgery acted in 1901 on a male patient suffering from a deformation of the hip joints, which was so extreme he was unable to stand or sit easily. Following a complex surgery, within four months the patient was able to walk without crutches.
  14. Disregarding Vera Gedroits’ Swiss degree, she needed to get certifications to meet the necessities of the University of Moscow.
  15. In 1902, Vera Gedroits asked permission to test for the Latin necessity at the Oryol Gubernatorial Gymnasium. Having been under the watch of the police since her arrest in 1892, she was needed to get a statement of character before the examination was permitted.
  16. After successfully passing her tests, Vera Gedroits procured the title of a female doctor and on 21 February 1903, got her diploma, permitting her to practice medicine all through the country.
  17. In mid-1904, with the flare-up of the Russo-Japanese War, Gedroits elected to go to the front with the Red Cross. In the first month of the war, she treated 9,255 patients, incorporating more than 100 patients with head wounds and 61 patients with abdominal wounds.
  18. Vera Gedroits was designated chief surgeon of the hospital train, which comprised of an operating car and five patient cars.
  19. Even though numerous Russian, as well as French and British, military surgeons had disposed of treating abdominal wounds, Gedroits perceived that early intercession was vital.
  20. Vera Gedroits (Ве́ра Гедро́йц) was the first to perform laparotomies on military patients, having broad involvement with abdominal surgery for hernias, the most frequent surgery she acted in the cement factory hospital. The Russian Army and the Russian Society of Military Doctors officially adopted Gedroits’ operative strategies.
  21. With the Russian defeat, Gedroits coordinated the hospital evacuation from close to the Fushun Mining region. Gedroits was credited with saving the life of Vasily Gurko, as well as that of a Japanese prince.
  22. In 1905, Vera Gedroits got back to the Maltsov Factory Hospital as chief surgeon and was delegated chief doctor of the Lyudinovskaya Hospital.
  23. Ordering a 57-page report on her work during the war, which included outlines, she introduced her outcomes on 27 July 1905 to the Society of Military Doctors.
  24. Vera Gedroits was awarded the gold medal of diligence from the Order of Saint Anna by the army commander for her activities during the Battle of Mukden, the Ribbon of Saint George with the silver medal “For Bravery” by General N. Plinevich for her treatment of the injured, the three highest distinctions from the Russian Red Cross, and acknowledgment by the Royal family as the silver neck medal of the Order of Saint Vladimir.
  25. Gedroits decided in 1905 to unravel herself from her marriage and was divorced on 25 December 1905. Her maiden name and her respectable title were reestablished on 1 February 1907.
  26. Gedroits published 17 scientific papers somewhere in the range of 1902 and 1909. Notwithstanding hernias and industrial wounds, her publications likewise covered surgeries for obstetrics, the thyroid gland, and different tumors which she had found in her patients.
  27. Vera Gedroits (Ве́ра Гедро́йц) used her Swiss education and front-line experiences as a basis for bringing it up to modern European norms.
  28. She additionally established a pathology and anatomy archive and helpful agreements with Philip Markowitz Blumenthal’s chemical and bacteriological institute on Lubyanka Square in Moscow to improve diagnostics.
  29. Notwithstanding Vera Gedroits’ work in the hospital, Gedroits made various housecalls, and over a five-year period, revealed she had visited 125,363 patients. She got a municipal commendation from the City Council for her merits as a surgeon in 1908.
  30. In 1909, at the invitation of Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, Gedroits became the senior resident doctor at the Tsarskoye Selo Court Hospital, “with a salary of 2,100 rubles and a state apartment”.
  31. As the royal family’s first female doctor and the second-highest-ranking member of the hospital’s staff, she headed the Departments of Surgery and Gynecology/Obstetrics, while performing as the attending doctor for the royal children.
  32. To guarantee that they had reference materials, Vera Gedroits composed a textbook for the royals, Беседы о хирургии для сестер и врачей (Conversations on Surgery for Sisters and Doctors), tending to general surgical issues in laymen’s terms.
  33. In her youth, Gedroits had published a collection of poems in 1887, yet now she joined the Poets’ Guild, publishing her poems under the pen name Sergei Gedroits in such journals as Bright Light, Covenants, and The Theosophical Gazette, among others.
  34. In 1910, Vera Gedroits privately published the anthology Стихи и сказки (Poems and Fairytales) in St Petersburg, and however the critical response was not enthusiastic, that same year she published Страницы из жизни заводского врача (Pages from the Life of a Factory Doctor).
  35. Vera Gedroits effectively acquired her doctorate of surgery, the first woman to accomplish the distinction from the University of Moscow, on 11 May 1912, in the wake of defending her thesis Отдаленные результаты операций паховых грыж по способу профессора Ру на основании 268 операций (Long-term results of inguinal hernia operations using the protocol of Professor Roux based upon 268 operations).
  36. She published a second volume of poetry, Вег (Veg, representing the starting letters of her names and perhaps inspired by the German Weg signifying “way”) in 1913.
  37. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Vera Gedroits worked on preparing the hospital and setting up the staff for war.
  38. Vera Gedroits (Ве́ра Гедро́йц) showed nursing strategies to the Tsarina and her daughters, Olga and Tatiana, and they became assistants to her in her surgical operations. One of the different nurses she trained at Tsarskoye Selo, Countess Maria Dmitrievna Nirod, would later become Gedroits’ life-long partner.
  39. Before the finish of 1914, Gedroits was primarily associated with serving as the palace doctor. In one episode in 1916, she performed more than 30 operations, for the most part, trepannings, over a three-day time frame.
  40. At the point when the February Revolution started in 1917, Vera Gedroits, as a worker of the Tsar, couldn’t openly support the Russian Provisional Government. To stay neutral in the contention, while as yet honoring her friendship with the royal family, she decided to get back to work as a military doctor.
  41. Matured 44, Vera Gedroits altered the birth data in her visa and was delegated as chief physician for the sixth Siberian Rifle Regiment. Shipped off the front, she served the injured at the Battle of Galicia in June and July 1917 and was then moved to the fifth Siberian Rifle Corps as a divisional surgeon, a rank comparable to lieutenant colonel in the Imperial Russian Army.
  42. During the deactivation after the October Revolution, Gedroits was harmed in January 1918 and taken to a military hospital in the Pechersk neighborhood of Kiev.
  43. While recovering, Vera Gedroits moved in with Countess Nirod, with whom she lived for the rest of her days.
  44. When Vera Gedroits had the option to get back to work, Gedroits started working in the hospital of the Intercession Monastery and by 1919 had set up a clinic to perform maxillofacial surgery.
  45. In 1920, when the Kiev Medical Institute coordinated a surgery department, she was invited by Yevgeny Tcherniakhovsky to join the faculty.
  46. In 1921, Vera Gedroits started working as an external lecturer, teaching a course on pediatric surgery. She was selected as a professor of medicine in 1923 and entered a period of publishing as an academic surgeon.
  47. In 1929, following Tcherniakhovsky’s arrest, Gedroits became the departmental head of surgery. However, the next year, during the Soviet purge, she was eliminated from her post and denied a pension.
  48. Utilizing funds she had saved, she bought a house on the outskirts of Kiev, where she and Nirod moved together. Proceeding to function as a surgeon from time to time at the Intercession Monastery’s hospital, she dedicated the following two years to writing, publishing a series of fictionalized autobiographies.
  49. Diagnosed with cancer in 1931, Vera Gedroits passed on in March 1947, matured 78, of uterine cancer. She was buried in the Savior-Transfiguration Cemetery, otherwise called the Korchevat cemetery, of Kiev, by the Archbishop Ermogen (born Alexei Stepanovich Golubev), who had been a patient of hers.
  50. Vera Gedroits challenged to set up medical procedures toward the start of the twentieth century and her prosperity with abdominal wound treatment influenced changing international military medical policy.
  51. Vera Gedroits (Ве́ра Гедро́йц) is recognized as a pioneer in applying laparotomy for the treatment of abdominal wounds on the battlefront.
  52. She was one of Russia’s first women to work as a surgeon, the first woman to become a professor of surgery, the first woman to work as a military doctor, and the first woman to serve as a doctor in the imperial palace.
  53. The hospital in Fokino, Bryansk Oblast was named in Vera Gedroits’ honor and a memorial plaque was devoted to her memory before the former Tsarskoe Selo palace hospital in Pushkin, Saint Petersburg.
  54. By her own appraisal in 1928, Vera Gedroits published 58 scientific papers, which included articles and textbooks managing general surgery, as well as facial and dental reconstructions, military fieldwork, and pediatric surgery. A large portion of her works was released in Russian, however, some were published in French, German, or Swedish.
  55. On April 19, 2021, Google honored Vera Gedroits’ 151st Birthday with a Google Doodle.
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