Views & Reviews Medical classics

Memoirs of a Physician

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 09 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:307
  1. Boleslav Lichterman, senior researcher, Institute for the History of Medicine, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow
  1. lichterman{at}

    “I am but an average practitioner. I am about to describe my sensations on my first acquaintance with medicine, what I expected of it, and how it actually affected me. I will endeavour to set down all, hiding nothing, and I will strive to write with absolute frankness.” These words, written by the 33 year old Russian physician Vikenty Veresaev, introduced his book Zapiski vracha (Memoirs of a Physician).

    Vikenty Vikentievich Smidovich (Veresaev was his pen name) was born in 1867 in Tula, a provincial city 200 km south of Moscow, into a doctor's family. On qualifying Veresaev worked as a resident doctor in St Petersburg and joined a Marxist literary circle. In 1901 he was fired from his hospital job by order of …

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