After Ukraines declaration of independence mass media and scientific
literature have increasingly started using the term Ukrainian medicine. At
first sight this cant be but logical, while terms like German, American, Chinese,
Polish, Russian medicine are generally accepted. Even during the Soviet times
the terms Russian medicine and Soviet medicine were proudly used along with
medicine in the UkrSSR and in the USSR.
However the attitude towards the concept of Ukrainian medicine is ambiguous.
The objections to the usage of the term are grounded by the fact that medical
knowledge is gathered for millennia by many peoples and nations, and thus is
of international character. Besides there isnt a clear definition to the concept
of Ukrainian medicine, and different authors interpret it differently. Most
frequently used is the clear term medicine in Ukraine that bares an idea of
geographical location. This term often constitutes a part of titles of new
magazines and editions.
The primary reason for such state of matters is that Ukraine was for
centuries deprived of its sovereignty, and various fields of science and
practice were subordinate to the ruling states. When Ukrainian territories
were divided between Russia, Poland, Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Romania,
Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, the oppressors often prohibited or in many ways
hindered the development of national culture and science. Under these
conditions medicine on the Ukrainian territories was developing as a part of
Russian, Austrian, or Polish medicine. As a result both in Soviet and Russian
literature, and sometimes even in new Ukrainian publications the activity and
successes of Ukrainian doctors are posed as achievements of a foreign
The origin of Ukrainian medicine may be dated back to the folk medicine of
Kyiv Ukraine- Rus epoch. It then developed as monastery medicine and
medicine of the Kozak State. The development of Ukrainian medicine was slowed
down for a long time after Ukraine lost its independence.
The first steps in the making of modern Ukrainian medicine as a science were
made in 1898-1910 when the first scientific associations of Ukrainian doctors
were established (Ukrainian Scientific Society in Kyiv, and Shevchenko
Scientific Society in Lviv), first works on medicine in Ukrainian were
published (by Yevhen Ozarkevych, Martyriy Halyn, Oleksandr Cherniakhivskyi,
and others), and the first disease prevention and treatment institution of
clearly Ukrainian orientation Narodna Lichnytsia (Peoples clinic)
was established. At the same time Ukrainian doctors made themselves heard at
European international medical forums in Paris, Madrid, Prague, and Belgrade;
and the formations of Ukrainian Sichovi Striltsi and Ukrainian Halytska
Army health service established the new Ukrainian military medicine.
The term Ukrainian medicine or the equivalent Ukrainian national medicine
itself came into use only after the collapse of Russian Empire and the
creation of Ukrainian Peoples Republic. In January 1918 the first in the
Eastern Ukraine Ukrainian medical journal Ukrainski Medychni Visti
(Ukrainian Medical News) was published. In its editorial Our Tasks Today
Ovksentiy Korchak-Chepurkivskyi, the oldest Ukrainian professor-hygienist,
the founder of social hygiene, wrote the following: Our main task is to
develop Ukrainian national medicine as a science and a practical field of
knowledge. To achieve this he thought it was necessary to: open our own
scientific and educational medical establishments; draw on the experience of
folk medicine; promote unification of nationally aware doctors social
figures, avail ourselves of support from doctors and other medical workers of
non-Ukrainian origin, return all Ukrainian medical resources that have been
spread out all over the distant foreign lands to the home country.
Korchak-Chepurkivskyj himself organized and headed the first Ukrainian
medical university department, he was among the founders of the All-Ukrainian
Academy of Science where he established a medical section to serve the
functions of a center of Ukrainian medical science development, organized a
health research department, a prototype of later academic institutes. He also
researched Ukrainian medical terminology as well as health condition and
demographic situation of Ukraines population.
The Ministry of Peoples Health and Care of Ukrainian State, Medical
Department of Ukrainian Army, Ukrainian Red Cross, and a number of clinics
were established at the same time. Ukrainian scholars began lecturing at
medical schools in Ukrainian; they also took active part in organizing
scientific and medical institutions. Medical educational establishments
created in the following years were clearly Ukrainian in their form and
content. These were Pathologoanatomical Institute headed by professor Pavlo
Kucherenko, Kyiv Bacteriological Institute headed by professor Marko
Neshchadymenko, Institute of Microbiology of All-Ukrainian Academy of Science
headed by professor F. Omelchenko, Kharkiv Institute of Experimental
Medicine, Kharkiv Psychoneurological Institute, and others.
Centers of Ukrainian scientific medicine also developed in this period
these were scientific schools of major medical specializations that
researched actual problems of medicine; educated doctors, post-graduate
students, and scholars; published Ukrainian dictionaries, text-books,
scientific monographs, and collections; and their work was up to the European
level. Among the first national scientific schools were those of surgeons (by
Yevhen Cherniakhivskyi), obstetrician-gynecologists (by Oleksandr Krupskyi),
physician-gerontologists (by Ivan Bazylevych), otolaryngologists (by
Oleksandr Puchkivskyi), ophthalmologists (by Mykola Levitskyi),
dermatologist-venerologists (by Oleksiy Tyzhnenko), specialists in
occupational hygiene (by Volodymyr Pidhayetskyi), pathologists (by Pavlo
Kucherenko), microbiologists (by Marko Neshchadymenko), physiologists and
biochemists (by Valentyna Radzymovska), and pathophysiologists (by Mykola
Vashetko). Surgeons Borys Andriyevskyi, Hryhoriy Ivanytskyi, Petro
Shydlovskyi, psychoneurologist Mykhaylo Mishchenko, phthisiatricians Vasyl
Plushch and Antin Sobkevych, radiologist O. Bohayevskyi, clinical
physiologist and physician-gerontologist Ivan Bazylevych, histologist
Oleksandr Cherniakhivskyi, sanitarians Ovksentiy Korchak-Chepurkivskyi and
Volodymyr Udovenko, anatomists Arsen Starkov and Oleksiy Ivakyn, and
microbiologist Fedir Omelchenko also began developing their schools. These
scientists prepared dozens of special text-books, monographs, collections of
scientific articles, and brought up many specialists.
A real contribution to the development of Ukrainian medicine was made by
Yevmen Lukasevych and Borys Matiushenko the authors of works on medicine
and medical terminology, editors and publishers of first Ukrainian medical
journals; Martyriy Halyn the author of the first scientific medical
dictionary and first Ukrainian publications on surgery; Maryan Panchyshyn
the founder and the dean of the Medical Department of underground Ukrainian
University in Lviv (1921-1925), as well as Andriy Zhuravel, Mykola
Kudrytskyi, Mykola Herashchenko, Mykola Sysak, and many others. It is
important to mention first Ukrainian scientific medical journals that
published researches and methodic materials, synopses of the achievements of
medicine in the world, and news items about Ukrainian medicine. They are
Ukrayinski medychni visti (Ukrainian Medical News, Kyiv, 1918,
1925-1931), Ukrayinskyi medychnyi arkhiv (Ukrainian Medical Archive,
Kharkiv, 1927-1932), Profilaktychna medytsyna (Preventive Medicine,
1929-1937), and Likarskyi visnyk (Doctors herald, Prague, 1923-1925).
Another Likarskyi visnyk was being published in Lviv in 1921-1939, it was
later resumed in Diaspora (1954- until now).
Practical medicine and health care also turned to the language of indigenous
population; they were brought closer to people, and reorganized on the basis
of doctors achievements in Ukrainian and the whole world.
Thus from the very start Ukrainian medicine consisted of Ukrainian scientific
medical institutions, Ukrainian high medical schools, and Ukrainian health
care establishments; it developed scientific, educational, practical and
popular scientific literature.
In 1930-s, within the process of severe suppression of Ukrainian Renaissance
by the totalitarian regime, when Ukrainian villages were wiped out by famine,
and Ukrainian intellectuals were exiled to GULAG, the founders of Ukrainian
scientific schools were done away with or dismissed from their work,
pro-Ukrainian tendencies were hindered by administrative means, and
scientific and educational establishments, as well as health-care
institutions gained Russian orientation.
Ukrainian officials were substituted by international specialists, works by
Ukrainian scholars were seized, and it was forbidden to mention them. This
all was an attempt to erase the period of the development of Ukrainian
medical science, Ukrainian medical schools and health care establishments
from our history.
Instead of everything that had been dismissed Soviet higher schools -
universities absolutely deprived of traditional in the whole world autonomy,
as well as Soviet scientific institutions and health-care establishments,
based almost exclusively on the traditions of Russian imperial medicine,
started developing under the leadership of the Communist party. It was a
period of russified and ideologized Soviet medicine in the UkrSSR, the time
when it blew its own trumpet while hushing up or neglecting achievements of
medicine in the world. The party leaders rudely interfered in the development
of medicine, preventing sometimes by their decisions the establishment of
whole branches of medical science, e. g. social medicine or genetics. The
achievements of Ukrainian medicine of the Ukrainian Renaissance period, in
particular text books, monographs, medical terminology, and Ukrainian
lectures of Kyiv Medical Institute were claimed by communist authorities to
be nationalistic and thus hostile and counter-revolutionary; and they were
excluded from the history of Soviet medicine.
During the years of highly promoted so called prosperity of Soviet Ukraine,
when in reality thousands of Ukrainians were exiled to Solovki, Siberia, and
camps of GULAG, and when millions of countrymen died of artificially created
famine, only a few doctors and scholars in scientific, educational, and
health-care establishments of UkrSSR dared not to deny their language and
culture, faith and traditions of their people. They presented speeches,
publications, and theses in their native tongue.
During this period a great contribution to Ukrainian medicine and its history
came from doctors in Ukrainian Diaspora. A number of essays on the history of
Ukrainian medicine and health care were published in Likarskyi visnyk
(Doctors herald, New York Chicago, 1954-2000, edited in the last 30
years by Pavlo Dzhul). Encyclopedia of Ukraine was edited by Shevchenko
Scientific Society both in English and Ukrainian. Works of professor Vasyl
Plushch Outlines on the history of Ukrainian medical science and education
(Munich. 1970. Part 1. 342 p.) and Outlines on the history of
Ukrainian medical science and education (19th and 20th cen.) (Munich. UVAN.
1983. Part 2. 372 p.) are of great importance. Besides, under Vasyl
Plushchs editorship The materials on the history of Ukrainian medicine
(New York Munich. 1975. v. 1. 336 p.) were issued. The second volume
of The materials
was published in Chicago in 1988 under the editorship of
Ukraines declaration of its independence marked the beginning of the new
stage of Ukraines medicine revival. It brought about the shift onto the
state language at scientific, educational, and health-care establishments (in
the Western region this shift was practically complete); research
institutions also started working in this field. This has resulted in the
establishment of several new periodicals, and publication of many medical
dictionaries and text-books. Some medical forums were held almost exclusively
in Ukrainian, e.g. I (XV) congress of surgeons of Ukraine. Some traditions of
Ukrainian medicine are reviving: Ukrainian Physician Society in Lviv (O.
Kites) has resumed its operation, while in Kyiv All-Ukrainian Physician Society
( L. Pyrih) has been established. These processes were promoted by 6
Ukrainian congresses of World Federation of Ukrainian Medical Associations
(A. Khreptovskyi, P. Dzhul, and L. Pyrih).
However, in many scientific and educational institutions, and health-care
establishments wi can often hear the language of our neighbor state;
Ukrainian publications are still in minority in the bulk of new medical
literature; new periodicals are often non-Ukrainian or bilingual with a small
percentage of Ukrainian language, and they often contain chauvinistic,
anti-Ukrainian materials. Quite a few scholars and doctors demonstrate their
neglect of the state language when speaking for the mass media. After a
number of years the scope of Ukrainian language in many medical institutions
and health-care establishments has not widened, and on the contrary it
often has narrowed. Nowadays there are many doctors and scholars in Ukraine
who would like to see Ukrainian medicine in Russian language, based on
achievements of mostly Russian scholars, and on traditions of Russian
imperial autocracy that have always had anti-Ukrainian coloring; thus they
want to leave everything as it was during the tsar and totalitarian regimes.
Unfortunately, the presidium and institutes of the Academy of Medicine in
Ukraine are not an exception in this paradoxical situation.
It is clear that the continued ideological influence of the communist regime
explains the fact that there is still no objective text-book on the history
of medicine for higher medical schools. This course is read from the books of
the Soviet times according to somewhat corrected old program.
Thus a lot has to be done in order for our modern medicine (including health
care) to become Ukrainian in its form and content. Our task and the task of
Ukrainian (in the essence, and not only in the citizenship) intellectuals,
and Ukrainian scientific and medical elite (either of Ukrainian or of other
origin) is to intensively develop Ukrainian medicine as a part of European
and world medicine. This includes retreating the achievements and traditions
of Ukrainian doctors, Ukrainian scientific medical schools of the 20th and
30th of the XX c. and later years, condemning and getting rid of the
deformations created during the totalitarian regime, giving up the usage of
the language that was imposed to us by the oppressor, and returning to the
language of our people, as well as using the sources of world and Ukrainian
culture and science. Ukrainian medicine can and should become an important part
of the world medicine.
The information in this book is the result of ten years of painstaking
research of various sources, including literature of previously unavailable
special funds and deposits, archives, Diaspora editions, web-pages of medical
establishments, and Ukrainian manuals (Who is who in Ukraine and others).
The first part of the book Personaliyi presents over 700 names. In the
first place these are of doctors and medical scholars who developed Ukrainian
national medicine, at first at the Medical section of Ukrainian Scholarly
Society in Kyiv and Shevchenko Scholarly Society in Lviv, and then during
the period of Ukrainian nationalistic revolution and later during Ukrainian
Renaissance all over Ukraine. There are also names of doctors ministers
and founders of health care in Ukrainian Peoples Republic, creators of
Ukrainian Red Cross, members of diplomatic missions and delegations, those
who even earlier had formed health-care service in the troops of Ukrainian
Sichovi Striltsi, and in Ukrainian Halytska Army. Names of first doctors
and healers are also given.
The book gives the most important data on the doctors that worked during the
XVIII beginning of XX centuries on the Ukrainian terrains that were not
only under Russian, but also under the rule of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and
Poland. It also presents information about doctors and scholars of
non-Ukrainian origin that either were born on Ukrainian territories or were
sent here by regime leaders to develop medicine of the neighbor nations. The
manpower policy of the Soviet, Polish, and Romanian government created a
situation that it was not local Ukrainian doctors, not Ukrainian by origin
people, but foreign specialists were instrumental in the development of
medicine on Ukrainian lands.
A great part of the book contains materials from the Soviet period, when a
big network of scientific, educational, health-care, and sanitary
establishments was created; the Soviet health care system was developed,
outstanding doctors-scholars who often gained world recognition (V. P.
Filatov, M. M. Amosov, and others) studied and worked on Ukrainian land. The
ethnical background when known was also indicated (though some people keep it
a secret or tell incorrect information). It cant be ignored that the Soviet
regime was very active in mixing medical specialists in the Soviet pot.
Thus graduates of medical establishments of UkrSSR (those that had the
all-Soviet status) were sent to the Russian and other republics while doctors
and scientists mainly from Russia were sent to Western and Eastern Ukraine in
order to speed up russification of the region, develop Soviet medicine,
primarily based on Russian traditions, with the use of the foreign language.
The newly arrived personnel played the major role in the development of
medical science and health-care system in UkrSSR. It was also them who
presided in educational, scientific and health-care establishments.
Many of the newcomers took in and grew fond of Ukraine as their new
Motherland; they mastered the language, became interested in the history and
culture. However, party ideologists were doing everything possible in order
to prevent such rooting in, so they would often swap specialists from one
republic to another propagating a motto Our house is the Soviet Union. In
spite of this, thanks to the work of these doctors medical science and
practice continued developing on Ukrainian land.
The book specifies the names of the doctors of Ukrainian and other origin,
who were born in Ukraine, often received their education there, but later
studied and worked in other countries; many of such doctors and scientists
moved to Russia, where they contributed greatly to the development of medical
science and practical medicine. Many Ukrainians emigrated to the West,
primarily to the USA and Canada, where they created strong Ukrainian
Diaspora; and did much to preserve the traditions and history of Ukrainian
medicine. The doctors of Ukrainian Diaspora have been helping medical
establishments of independent Ukraine greatly, in particular while dealing
with the results of Chornobyl catastrophe.
The second part of the book - Dates gives data about approximately 2000
events of Ukrainian medicine, those on the Ukrainian terrains under the rule
of other countries, and in the Diaspora among them; it also presents dates
and events of the Soviet time, and of the period of Ukraines independence up
till the year 2000. Special emphasis is placed on inventions and achievements
of world importance accomplished by Ukrainian doctors or people born in
Ukraine and working either within or beyond its borders. The book also
presents data on the history of pharmacy in Ukraine.
The author will consider his task accomplished, if the given materials help
Ukrainian doctors to become proud of the significant achievements of the
centuries-long period of Ukrainian medicines coming into being, and stream
its further development in the direction of forming Ukrainian medicine.
In future, the Ukraine state, just as the other states, should have its own
medicine, Ukrainian by roots, traditions, language and content; worthy of
becoming a part of the world medicine.