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Google Honours Russia's First Female Surgeon Vera Gedroits On Her 151st Birth Anniversary

Google Doodle on April 19 is celebrating Russian surgeon, professor, poet and author Dr. Vera Ignatievna Gedroits to mark her 151st birth anniversary on Monday.


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Google on April 19 is celebrating Russian surgeon, professor, poet and author Dr. Vera Gedroits to mark her 151st birth anniversary on Monday. She was the first female military surgeon in Russia, the first female professor of surgery, and also the first woman to serve as a physician in the Imperial Palace of Russia. Google wrote, “Thank you, Vera Gedroits, for pushing the world of medicine forward, even with the odds stacked against you” to honour the contributions made by her and saving countless lives through her fearless service and several innovations in the area of wartime medicine.

On her 151st birthday, Google wrote, “Today’s Doodle celebrates 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,” it added. 

Who was Vera Ignatievna Gedroits?

Vera Ignatievna Gedroits was born on April 19, 1870, into a significant family of Lithuanian royal descent in Kyiv which was, at the time part of the Russian Empire. It was her late teens when she left Russia to study medicine in Switzerland. Dr. Gedroits returned home at the turn of the 20th century. Shortly after that, she began her pioneering medical career as a surgeon at a factory hospital.

When the Russia-Japanese War broke out in 1904, Gedroits volunteered to work as a surgeon on a Red Cross hospital train. Even under the threat of enemy fire, Gedroits 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. After serving during wartime, she then worked as a surgeon for the Russian royal family before she finally returned to Kyiv. Then in 1929, Gedroits was appointed as the professor of surgery at the University of Kyiv.

In the following years, she authored several medical papers on nutrition and surgical treatments during her time as a professor. Her capabilities were not bound to just academics. She also published several multiple collections of poems, and several nonfiction works, including the 1931 memoir simply titled “Life,” which relayed the story of her personal journey that led to service on the front lines back in 1904.

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