Professor V. F. Snegirev - Russian gynecologist

  • Authors: Nikulina D.S.1, Semenikhina E.S.2
  • Affiliations:
    1. Voronezh State Medical University named after N. N. Burdenko
    2. Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko
  • Pages: 415-417
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Vladimir Fedorovich is the founder of the national gynecology. Thanks to the medical and scientific activities of Dr. Snegirev, gynecological discoveries in Russia surpassed the achievements of gynecology in other countries. Snegirev raised the status of the Russian gynecologist all over the world. In one of his speeches, Vladimir Fedorovich said: "There is not a single section in gynecology where the Russian name does not occupy an honorable place."
And such a high position of gynecology in the field of domestic medicine is the result of highly qualified activity of V.F. Snegirev.

Full Text

Vladimir Fedorovich Snegirev (1847-1916) was an innovative scientist in the field of gynecology in Russia.
Vladimir Fedorovich Snegirev was born on June 27, 1847 in the family of a Moscow official. He was orphaned early. At the age of nine, Volodya became a high school student, and subsequently studied at the Kronstadt Navigator School. Soon Snegirev met the philanthropist Shelaputin, who took him in for maintenance and helped him get an education.
From 1865 to 1870, V.F. Snegirev studied at the Medical Faculty of Moscow University. After receiving a diploma with honors, he began his professional career in the Yauza Hospital and in the Moscow maternity hospital. Vladimir Fedorovich became interested in studying the influence of lifestyle on women's health.
During the years of epidemics, many doctors, including those who had not worked in the zemstvos before, went to fight dangerous diseases. It was selfless, almost ascetic work. Among such doctors in 1871 was a graduate of the Medical faculty of IMU V.F. Snegirev. During the outbreak of cholera in the Podolsk district of the Moscow province, a young doctor traveled to the foci of the disease, provided medical assistance to the population, and also participated in sanitary and preventive measures. In the preface to his famous work "Uterine bleeding, their etiology, diagnosis, therapy," he wrote: "My work is dedicated to the zemstvo doctor, this hard worker, who is still little appreciated because they do not know all the difficulties, all the heroism performed by him. But I am well aware, from my personal experience, what the work of a zemstvo doctor means. It should be evaluated not with rubles, but with honor." Being already a well-known professor, V.F. Snegirev found a dacha in the vicinity of the city of Aleksin. There was a small zemstvo hospital there, in which he immediately began to receive patients and operate. Very soon the hospital could not accommodate all those in need of treatment, and V.F. Snegirev, having invested his own funds, significantly expanded it. Subsequently, two additional barracks for 40 beds were built. V.F. Snegirev worked at the Aleksinsky Hospital during the summer holidays, gradually colleagues from the Gynecological Clinic and the Gynecological Institute of IMU, which he headed, as well as students and young doctors began to help him. All medical care in the hospital was provided free of charge. Operations began at 6 o'clock in the morning, the rounds began at 12, and the professor was released no earlier than 3 o'clock in the afternoon. During the summer months of 1885 and 1886, 102 general surgical operations were performed at the Aleksinsky Hospital.
In 1873, he defended his doctoral dissertation "On the question of the definition and treatment of uterine hemorrhage behind", in which the question of the inevitability of surgical intervention in gynecological diseases was widely considered.
Working as an associate professor at Moscow University, Snegirev gave the first lecture "On ovariotomy", in which he laid the foundation for teaching gynecology.
In 1884, V.F. Snegirev created a major work "Uterine bleeding, their etiology, diagnosis, therapy with a description of the method of studying the female genital organs." The monograph has gained universal fame and the status of the first national guide to gynecology. In 1885, Snegirev received the title of professor at Moscow University. In the works "Two cases of removal of intrauterine polyps" (1882), "On a new method of surgical treatment of uterine fibroids" (1875), "Three cases of ovariotomy" (1876), "On the current state of treatment of uterine cancer" (1881), "Operation of artificial infertility" (1882) V.F. Snegirev considers the problems of fibroma removal, uterine bleeding, ligation of female genital arteries.
Thanks to the activity of V.F. Snegirev, since 1886, the first operating rooms have appeared in gynecological departments of hospitals, in which Vladimir Fedorovich performed many surgical interventions. These include ovariotomies, colpopoiesis, removal of female genital organs, fixation of the vagina, etc.
In 1887, Professor Snegirev created the Moscow Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and became its chairman.
Under the leadership of V.F. Snegirev, the first model university clinic was established in 1889. She opened her doors to women doctors, which was a progressive breakthrough of that time.
In 1896, Snegirev founded the Institute for Advanced Training of Gynecologists and led it until the end of his days.
In 1916, he became an Honorary Member of Moscow University.
Being a unique surgeon, V.F. Snegirev performed about five thousand gynecological operations, created new ways to remove and treat female genital organs and at the same time paid great attention to postoperative care and therapeutic methods of treatment. At the end of 1916, Vladimir Fedorovich fell ill with pneumonia. On December 19, 1916, at the 70th year of his life, V.F. Snegirev died.
Vladimir Fedorovich Snegirev is named after the Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the First Moscow Medical University, maternity hospital No. 6 in St. Petersburg and the district hospital in Aleksin, Tula region. There is a monument to a unique doctor in Moscow.


About the authors

Daria Sergeevna Nikulina

Voronezh State Medical University named after N. N. Burdenko

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8539-9406


Russian Federation, 394010 Russia, Voronezh, Studentskaya Street, 10

Elena Serafimovna Semenikhina

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko

Author for correspondence.
Russian Federation, 394024 Russia, g. Voronezh, St. Studencheskaya, 10


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