Vera Gedroits: Google Doodle pays tribute to Russian surgeon and professor on her 151st birthday

Happy Birthday, Vera Gedroits!

Devdiscourse News Desk | Moscow | Updated: 19-04-2021 08:46 IST | Created: 19-04-2021 07:29 IST
Vera Gedroits: Google Doodle pays tribute to Russian surgeon and professor on her 151st birthday
Dr. Gedroits is credited as the country’s first female military surgeon and one of the world’s first female professors of surgery. Image Credit: Google doodle

Happy Birthday, Vera Gedroits!

Today Google dedicates a beautiful doodle to celebrate Russian surgeon, professor, poet, and author Dr. Vera Gedroits on her 151st birthday. 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 Gedroits was originally named Princess Vera Ignatievna Gedroits and literary pen name Sergei Gedroits. She was born on this day in 1870 in Slobodishche (now in the Bryansk Oblast). She was born into a prominent family of Lithuanian royal descent in Kiev, then part of the Russian Empire.

Following her involvement in a student movement, Vera Gedroits cannot complete her studies in Russia, and despite being openly lesbian, entered into a marriage of convenience, which allowed her to obtain a passport in another name and leave the country.

In Switzerland, she enrolled in the medical courses of César Roux and became a graduate in 1898. After graduation, Vera Gedroits worked as Roux's assistant but returned to Russia because of illnesses in her family. As a young physician, she was concerned about the low standards of hygiene, nutrition, and sanitation, and made recommendations to improve conditions.

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. Vera 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 wrote 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. Vera Gedroits also published multiple collections of poems, and several nonfiction works, including the 1931 memoir simply titled "Life," which told the story of her 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. Today Google celebrates her with a mesmerizing doodle.

Also Read: Laura Bassi: Google doodle to honor Italian physicist & academic


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