From the Work Experience of Zemskiy Feldsher Z. S. Sokolova

  • Authors: Zatsepina E.A.1, Makhinova O.V.1
  • Affiliations:
    1. Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation
  • Pages: 61-63
  • URL:

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Relevance . This year marks the 157th anniversary of zemstvo medicine in Russia. In 2012, the Zemsky Doctor federal program was launched in the Russian Federation as part of the healthcare modernization program. She continues the best traditions of zemstvo medicine. The study of the invaluable experience of zemstvo physicians is an important condition for medical activity.

Purpose . Using historical and local history material, manuscripts of memoirs to get acquainted with the life and work of the zemstvo paramedic Sokolova Z.S.

Methods. The general scientific method of research was used in the work.

Results. Zinaida Sergeevna Sokolova worked among the peasants. She sought to make their life easier, to enlighten. Together with her husband K. K. Sokolov, they built an outpatient clinic with their own money, in which they regularly received patients. The medical care they provided was universal: they accepted adults and children, men and women, suffering from both acute and chronic diseases. She personified the type of a generalist physician with a wide range of knowledge and practical skills.

Conclusion. Nowadays The experience of zemstvo medicine remains an example in the development of health care systems and programs. Acquaintance with the biography of Zemstvo medicine devotees is an important component in preparing medical students for future professional activities.

Full Text

Zinaida Sergeevna was born in Moscow into a large merchant family, related to the Mamontovs and the Tretyakov brothers. Father - Alekseev, Sergei Vladimirovich (1836-1893), a wealthy manufacturer, Mayor. Mother - Elizaveta Vasilievna (nee Yakovleva), (1841-1904) devoted her whole life to children, of whom there were 8 people. In 1894, together with her husband K. K. Sokolov, she moved to the village of Nikolskoye, Voronezh province, with an ardent desire to "live and work for the people." They built an outpatient clinic for the peasants and provided medical care to all those in need [1]. It was hard work for the benefit of people, but she courageously endured all the difficulties of working with patients.

Zinaida Sergeevna worked for the "paramedic". She gave out medicines, explained how to take them, helped K. K. Sokolov with minor operations, and also when she had to provide assistance in case of accidents. To the sick, she recalled, it was necessary to adapt, clearly and accurately explain to them how to take medicines, what to do with ointments, and so on. It was impossible to take the hung "pebbles" (potassium iodide) and say: put this into a bottle, dilute it with cold boiled water and take it. It turned out that many and the paper in which the medicine was wrapped were added to water and taken along with the medicine. “Such stupid patients, of course, come across in the general mass as an exception,” Zinaida Sergeevna wrote in her memoirs, but you already explain to everyone the same way, both “ accurate ” and stupid. Taking 150 patients a day, there is no time to make out whether a stupid woman is in front of you or a smart woman ”[ 2].

Sokolova noted that women were more courageous and courageous about all operations and dressings than men. One peasant woman had to open a huge abscess on her arm. She stood calmly, only turned her head away and turned pale, did not pull her hand out and repeated: “ Nothing - cut, cut.” But a rare man was given to calmly cut, bandage himself. When Konstantin Konstantinovich shamed them and pointed to the courage of women, one said: “They should be afraid of something . They are used to giving birth. They give birth and do not cry, they are already accustomed” [ 2] . Once it was necessary to open an abscess from a peasant. "Bogatyr, hair on his head like a mop, hands like a monument to Minin and Pozharsky." An abscess on the finger. How much did you have to persuade him! Finally agreed. With one hand (healthy) he rested on the stove, and stomped with his left foot, which interfered with Sokolov and groaned even when the doctor had not yet cut. And he turned his head away, afraid to see blood. Such incidents often recurred. Teenagers endured pain more courageously.

Once, Zinaida Sergeevna had to take birth with a cook in the absence of her husband. They passed at night. “I got dressed hastily, I go, taking a book about childbirth and helping a woman in labor,” Sokolova later writes down, “in the dining room on the floor, on the straw, Martha lies at the back bench, on which she usually slept. Martha lies pale, exhausted, of course, in her dirtiest skirt . Zinaida Sergeevna did everything she knew, and an hour and a half later a child was born , but dead: no cry, no breath. After separating the child from the mother, she ran for another book on how to revive dead newborns. Immediately, sitting next to the woman in labor on the straw, refreshing her memory from the book about what to do with dead babies, she began to revive, artificial respiration: she rubbed it, doused it with cold water, did everything that was written in the book. While working, she was constantly tormented by the thought, is it good that she brings him to life? All blue, swollen, with a huge head, wouldn't it be a freak? Worked on it for two hours. “Afterward, the doctors told me that my inexperience saved the child. According to the rules, it was necessary to stop the revival long ago, and for two hours I kneaded, rubbed, and the boy began to breathe, ”recalled Zinaida Sergeevna [ 2]. According to the book, you need to revive to a scream. And the newborn Sokolova was already breathing for half an hour, but did not scream! She herself was exhausted and was afraid to torture him. I washed it, swaddled it and put it on a warm stove. Mother thanked and rejoiced. She “removed” the woman in labor and, leaving, asked one of those who were with Martha to say when the boy screamed. As soon as she lay down, she was awakened with the news that the baby was screaming at the whole table. The fears were in vain, the boy straightened out, was ugly, but, as they say, he was oddly tailored, but tightly sewn! Mother could not get enough of him, his big "smart" head and his big " morden ".

The village was not without accidents. They brought a boy of four years old, to whom the cow had torn both cheeks. Zinaida Sergeevna lifted the rag with which the child's face was covered, and saw bared jaws, flaps of cheeks thrown back on the pillow, and a wounded eyelid. She alone did not dare to start helping, only, standing on the wheel hub, she washed the pieces of her cheeks that had fallen off. The mother was ill, her husband supported her from behind. This incident was so terrible that the usual curious spectators - workers, cooks from the table - did not dare to come close. Having finished washing, she put soft gauze moistened with boric acid on the child's face - the flies climbed on the wounds very much, and the pillow was not the first cleanliness. Only 16-year-old maid Masha Rasshcheplyaeva decided to hold a tray with gauze and boric acid and bravely passed this test. Even my father refused to help. The zemstvo doctor arrived very quickly, the boy was brought into the office and the operation began. While the stitches were being applied, the boy lay as if dead, whimpering a little, he did not have the strength to fight. Give him 38 stitches.

  “I felt sorry for the sick, I understood the benefits of medicine with my mind, I worked first as an assistant to my husband, and then as a sister of mercy, I worked in good faith ,” Zinaida Sergeevna Sokolov later recalled [2] .


The significance and contribution to the development of zemstvo medicine of the Sokolov family can hardly be overestimated. The outpatient clinic they built, round-the-clock medical care for the peasants is a feat to save people in the countryside.


Women doctors serving in the Zemstvo have made a worthy contribution to the development of medical care for the rural population of Russia. Their professional activity was a vivid example of service to their people and Fatherland.


About the authors

Ekaterina Anatolievna Zatsepina

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5345-7886
SPIN-code: 5203-7885

 student of the 2nd year of the Faculty of Pediatrics
Russian Federation, 10 Studencheskaya str., Voronezh, 394036, Russia

Olga Vasilievna Makhinova

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N. Burdenko Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1799-6361
SPIN-code: 2567-9521

teacher, department of Foreign Languages
Russian Federation, 10 Studencheskaya str., Voronezh, 394036, Russia


  1. Земский доктор К. К. Соколов / Е.А.Зацепина, О.В. Махинова// Молодежный инновационный вестник. –Воронеж: ВГМУ, 2022. – Т.11(S2). – С.309-311.[Zemsky Doctor K. K. Sokolov / E.A. Zatsepina , O.V. Makhinova // Youth Innovation Bulletin. -Voronezh: VSMU, 2022. - T.11(S2). – P.309-311]
  2. Соколова З. С. Наша жизнь в Никольском. Деревенские записки /З. С.Соколова; составление, подготовка рукописи к публикации и комментарии С. Н. Сукочевой. – Воронеж : Центр духовного возрождения Черноземного края, 2004. – 288 с.[Sokolova Z.S. Our life in Nikolskoye. Village notes /Z.S.Sokolova compilation, preparation of the manuscript for publication. and comment. S. N. Sukocheva. - Voronezh: Center for the Spiritual Revival of the Chernozem Territory, 2004. - 288 p.]

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