History of Medicine


An Open Access Journal

Reflection of issues of military hygiene in the Russian military medical school from the 19th century to the 1930s

Ivan M. Chizh,
Igor V. Karpenko,
Maria S. Sergeeva,
Sergey N. Rusanov,
Aleksandr A. Timoshevsky
FSAEI HE I.M. Sechenov First MSMU MOH Russia (Sechenov University)
8 Trubetskaya St., building 2, Moscow 119991, Russia

The article describes key phases in the introduction of military hygiene in the curriculum for Russian military doctors. Almost up to the beginning of the 20th century, sanitary losses of the Russian army from infectious diseases considerably surpassed losses from wounds sustained from firearms and cold steel weapons. This suggests the need for military doctors to be familiar with the basics of military hygiene. Authors of the article examine the characteristics of the establishment of the teaching of military hygiene in Russia, first in hospital schools and then at the Saint Petersburg Medical and Surgical Academy (renamed the Imperial Military Medical Academy in 1881) and subsequently the Military Medical Academy of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army. It is demonstrated that special issues pertaining to military hygiene were introduced in the training programme for military doctors first. For example, a section “On health care for Russian soldiers” first appeared in the curriculum of the department of medical jurisprudence and medical police, including hygiene, at the Saint Petersburg Medical and Surgical Academy in 1845. The programme dealt with various aspects of military hygiene. It included issues relating to hygiene in the army during the stay of military personnel in barracks and field camps. A separate course on military hygiene was introduced in 1882 at the instigation of A.P. Dobroslavin, who can be regarded the architect of the first programme on this discipline. In that programme, matters directly linked to military hygiene were split into a separate course for the first time. The first department of military hygiene in the Soviet Union was established in 1936 at the Military Medical Academy. That department was headed by military doctor, Professor V.A. Vinogradov-Volzhinsky. Thus, such a discipline as military hygiene became an integral part of the education of future military doctors.

Keywords: history of medicine, military medical education, military hygiene, military doctor, Saint Petersburg Medical and Surgical Academy, Military Medical Academy


From 2021

The Journal is Published Twice a Year.

Founders of the journal

I.M. Sechenov

For Authors