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A talented scientist, a masterly physician and a tender-hearted person - V.I. Razumosky (to the 160th anniversary)

ID: 2017-06-35-A-14394
Оригинальная статья (свободная структура)
ФГБОУ ВО Саратовский ГМУ им. В.И. Разумовского Минздрава России


The article describes the great contribution of professor V.I. Razumosky to Russian medicine and surgery. It also includes some biographical data of the scientist.

Ключевые слова

professor V.I. Razumosky, neurosurgery, history of Saratov University.


The pride of Russian science – these words are related to those people who made a significant contribution to the development of different spheres of our life to make it easier, healthier and more successful. And from generation to generation we and our offspring will remember their names. The pride of Russian science is a great surgeon Vasiliy Ivanovich Razumovsky. He is considered the founder of surgical school in Russia; he is the pioneer in neurosurgery in our country; he is the first rector of Saratov University. Moreover he is a prominent social personality. Lastly, not to mention the fact that V.I. Razumovsky was a brilliant lecturer, a talented, a real and a strict teacher both in science and life.

Vasiliy Ivanovich Razumovsky was born in Samara Governorate in 1857. He entered medical faculty of Kazan University, one of the best educational institutions in Russia at that time. Later he took a residency course in Hospital Surgery working under the supervision of an experienced professor  L.L. Levshin. After residency he was working under the dissertation in laboratories and clinics in St.Petersburg.

Active research work done by famous scientists in Kazan University attracted young talented people. A 27-year-old doctor V.I. Razumovsky returned to Kazan in 1885 after a brilliant defense of his thesis “On the question of atrophic processes in the bones after transection of nerves” with Professor  N.Ivanovsky.

At the age of 30 V.I. Razumovsky was elected a professor of Operative Surgery of Medical Faculty at Kazan University. Therefore the development of neurosurgery would have been impossible without the participation of Razumovsky. Among the famous surgeons of the late 19th century it was V.I. Razumovsky who devoted his life to neurosurgery completely. In fact he worked in different areas of surgery: abdominal surgery, surgery of head, neck, face, organs of thoracic cavity and extremities. However he is called the founder of neurosurgery in Russia.

He was extremely productive in surgical activities. He promoted new surgical treatment methods. In 1893, V.I. Razumovsky performed Horsley’s operation (extirpation of an area of cerebral cortex) epilepsy for the first time in Russia. In 1895, operating on the brain, V.I. Razumovsky perfected the technique of osteoplastic craniotomy and proposed the special holes, that facilitated the access technique. In 1903 he performed the trigeminal ganglion extirpation for trigeminal neuralgia for the first time in Russia. In 1904 he performed successfully transection of sensory portion of trigeminal nerve root and called it “physiological extirpation”. V.I. Razumovsky was first to implement this method in the clinical practice and started to use it in his neurosurgical practice repeatedly.

In 1909 V.I. Razumovsky became the first rector of Saratov University. He was responsible to choose a vice-rector, a dean and some professors to work together. V.L. Bogolubov was the Head of Department of Surgery, a future academician S.I. Spasokukotsky teached Surgery at the University and a 30-year old A.A. Bogomolets became the Head of Department of General Pathology.  It is no secret that he invited from Kazan a talented and young architect and artist Karl Lyudvigovich Myuphke to build two theoretical constructions in the centre of Saratov.

From 1920 till 1930 V.I. Razumovsky was the Head of Department of General Surgery at Medical Faculty and particular attention was drawn to the speciality of a surgeon. Vasiliy Ivanovich considered surgery as a very troubled speciality. He said – “If you study surgery, you will not sleep. Studying surgery you realize what happiness is, but you will not sleep!!!”

His clinical and scientific activity resulted in the publication of about 200 works in surgery. Four doctor dissertations were defended under the supervision of V.I. Razumovsky.

The article also shows that V.I. Razumovsky studied the ethical principles of a surgeon. He thought that the most dramatic issue in medical ethics was an error in the professional activity of doctors. That was a medical or surgical error. He divided surgical errors into several types:

- as a result of lack of knowledge or technical circumstances;

- as a result of unfavourable conditions; unexperienced personnel;

-as a result of emotional stress occurred in case of psychologically unprepared surgeons. “Surgeon`s psychological status and mood is rather changeable.” “One of the main conditions to become a really good surgeon is to have a happy and friendly family. Another cure in order to treat stress and stabilize the emotional background is music.” He went to opera, concerts, did physical exercises and sports and read classical literature to quit bothering.

It would be unfair not to mention the personal qualities of a great scientist. V.I. Razumovsky was the most humane figure in medicine of that time. Thinking about students he said that “hospitals and clinics were also determined to educate medical students as well as to develop their humane intentions.” “Thanks to students, we, teachers, follow their happiness, joy, naive and honest ideas.” 


1. Непроторенными дорогами: Сборник очерков о крупнейших ученых-врачах, работавших в Саратове. – Саратов: Приволжское книжное издательство, 1981.

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