Google is celebrating the 151st birthday of Russian surgeon Dr. Vera Gedroits. Today’s Google Doodle is different as it carries a thanking note for Vera Gedroits for pushing the world of medicine forward against all odds.
Who was Dr. Vera Gedroits?
Vera Gedroits was born into a prominent family of Lithuanian royal descent in Kiev in 1870. Kiev was then part of the Russian Empire. In her late teens, she went to Switzerland to study medicine and returned to Russia to start her medical career. She first joined a factory hospital as a surgeon.
What was the biggest achievement of Vera Gedroits?
Vera Gedroits became a volunteer during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 and served the Russian army as a surgeon. She performed complex abdominal surgeries with ultimate precision in a converted railway car. It was an achievement because she worked with limited resources and under the threat of enemy attack. Later the Russian government adopted that procedure as the new standard. She also worked as a surgeon for Russian royals. On returning home, she became a professor of surgery at the University of Kiev in 1929.
Professor Vera Gedroits
As a professor, Vera Gedroits worked on nutrition and surgical treatments. Her research was published in leading medical journals of that time. She was also an author and poet. Her memoir titled “Life” published in 1931 has excerpts from her battlefield experience on the frontlines in 1904. She also authored a collection of poems.