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N.I. PIROGOV - SURGEON, SCIENTIST, AND TEACHER: A LOOK FROM THE 21ST CENTURY (ON THE 210TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREAT RUSSIAN DOCTOR)


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Abstract

Thanks to the work of the great doctor, scientist and teacher Nikolay Pirogov, Russian science reached the forefront in the field of biomedicine in the XIX century. The article presents a scientific review of the life, medical and scientific activities of Nikolai Pirogov, it presents an analysis of the emergence of the Russian health care system in the XVIII century as part of the social and political reforms of Peter the Great. Since this period, the most important feature of the health care system in Russia is the dominance of statism. The project of Peter I to introduce into Russian society the achievements of scientific medicine in Western Europe contained a contradiction, which can be described as a “conflict of civilizations”. The main sources for this scientific review were Pirogov’s “The Old Physician’s Diary” and the work of his pre-revolutionary biographer Julius Malis. Patriarchal family traditions and the Orthodox religion had an important influence on the upbringing of Nikolay Pirogov in childhood and adolescence. During the years of study of Nikolay Pirogov (1824-1828), the education system at the medical faculty of the Imperial Moscow University was still at the stage when there was an opposition between two parties of professors (“Germans” and “non-Germans” - Aleksandr Gertsen). The historical mission of Nikolai Pirogov is that he plays a leading role to resolve the “conflict of civilizations” in Russian medicine. The period of the Patriotic War of 1812 was notable in Russia for the extraordinary rise of patriotism, which played a major role in shaping the civic worldview of Nikolai Pirogov. But Nikolai Pirogov’s worldview rules out nationalist bias and one-sidedness.


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