History of Medicine


An Open Access Journal

Moscow doctor A.G. Dreytser – author of “The Notes of an Ambulance physician”

Ekaterina D. Dreytser,
Evgeniya L. Panova
FSAEI HE I.M. Sechenov First MSMU MOH Russia (Sechenov University)
8 Trubetskaya St., building 2, Moscow 119991, Russia

We have attempted to present the scientific biography of Alexander Grigorievich Dreytser, the author of “The Notes of an Ambulance physician” – a popular documentary work on the life of Moscow and Muscovites during the Great Patriotic War. We have reconstructed the main points of life and activities of A.G. Dreytser and discovered a number of facts in his biography related to his studying at the Strasbourg University (1911–1914) and Imperial Moscow University (1915–1917), participation in the First World War and activities in 1918–1941. The analysis of the materials stored in the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the Central State Archive of the City of Moscow, the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art, as well as the personal archive of the Dreytser family, allowed us to clarify many points related to Dreytser’s life and activities during the time prior to the creation of The Notes. This article is based upon the results of a comparative analysis of the texts of The Notes and A.G. Dreytser’s Ph.D. dissertation “The Material on the Question of Sudden Death: According to the Data of Morgues, Moscow City Emergency Stations and the Department of Clinical Examination of the Central Polyclinic of the People’s Commissariat for Health of the USSR”. This article considers the hypothesis of the unity of the events that took place in Moscow during the Great Patriotic War and were described in the dissertation and The Notes. More complete historical and biographical data on A.G. Dreytser allowed us to prove the documentary nature of The Notes, expand the scope of known facts about the organisation of medicine during the war and clarify some circumstances of the history of Russian medicine as a whole.

Keywords: history of medicine, Soviet medicine, A.G. Dreytser, “The Notes of an Ambulance physician”, Historical-Biographical Method, World War II, World War I, Imperial Moscow University


From 2021

The Journal is Published Twice a Year.

Founders of the journal

I.M. Sechenov

For Authors