S.P. Botkin: Outstanding Teacher-mentor, Innovator, Public Figures

  • Authors: Kochegarova V.I.1, Makhinova O.V.1, Povalyuhina D.A.1
  • Affiliations:
    1. Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N.Burdenko
  • Pages: 99-101
  • URL: https://www.new.vestnik-surgery.com/index.php/2415-7805/article/view/8924

Cite item


Relevance. Deep, versatile knowledge, great talent, interest in everything new, dedication to his work, selfless daily work, willingness to respond to the sufferings of the patient, skill in healing and the desire to share his experience and knowledge in the name of man, the development of medicine in his country allowed S.P. Botkin deservedly to be on the Olympus of Russian medicine.

Target. Using biographical information, to show the importance of the scientist and his great contribution to the development of medicine and medical education in Russia.

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

Results. S.P.Botkin was an innovator of domestic medicine. Under his leadership, the system of diagnostics, treatment of patients and teaching therapy to students and doctors was being rebuilt.

Conclusion. S.P. Botkin, an outstanding scientist and discoverer in the field of medicine, gave a lot of effort to improve medical services for the general population, especially the low-income part of it. The main goal was to improve the quality of medical work of city hospitals, taking as a basis the principle of "scientific medicine". S.P. Botkin was at the origins of professional medical training of women.

Full Text


Sergey Petrovich Botkin is a famous historical figure in medicine. He was at the origins of the foundation and formation of the first Russian scientific therapeutic school. Sergey Petrovich worked in an academic therapeutic clinic. Today it is the Department of Faculty therapy of the Military Medical Academy named after S.M. Kirov, where the ideas of the scientist began to be born and put into practice. In clinical practice, Botkin proved himself a talented doctor, a brilliant scientist, teacher and public figure, and also became an innovator in the organization of science and medicine.

Botkin Sergey Petrovich was born in 1832 in Moscow. He received a good primary education at a private school, then he managed to successfully enroll, study and graduate from the medical faculty at Moscow University. After graduation, the certified specialist worked in the Bakhchisarai Infirmary of Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna under the management and close attention of N.I. Pirogov. Due to poor eyesight, he could not conduct surgical activities and found his place in military field medicine, in postoperative treatment. This was in demand, because due to weak medicine, even after a well-performed surgical intervention, patients died from gangrene.

Sergey Petrovich interned and practiced at the European Chemical Medical Laboratory, deepened his knowledge and improved in clinical training.

The young clinician spent four years abroad. Upon returning to St. Petersburg, first he defended his dissertation, then received the degree of Doctor of Medicine. With such a rich baggage of knowledge and experience, S.P. Botkin worked as a professor at the Department of the Academic therapeutic Clinic of the Imperial Medical and Surgical Academy.

Sergey Petrovich Botkin was already known as a good clinician and teacher. He developed and introduced innovations into the teaching methodology. In his opinion, the observation of the clinic doctor should be scientifically justified and confirmed by experiment, pathological conditions should be associated with physiological data. The success and successful development of practice in medical practice will be due to a decrease in the importance of instincts in it and greater subordination to science.

S.P. Botkin wanted to see a hospital clinic not only as a modern medical, but also as a scientific institution. Sergey Petrovich introduced physical and chemical methods of research into everyday practice. He organized a laboratory, he did all the manipulations on his own, since there were no qualified laboratory assistants. This is how the first clinical laboratory in Russia and one of the first in Europe appeared. Botkin supervised the restructuring and updating of the diagnosis and therapy of patients. There were also innovations in teaching therapy to future doctors and practitioners.

Sergey Petrovich Botkin was a talented teacher. His lectures were popular even in Europe. And in his own country, he became the first to conduct classes in an outpatient clinic. He, as a mentor, conducted an outpatient appointment. At the same time, doctors who were beginning to practice were present. Clinical analyses and discussions with elements of lecture readings of the scientist-teacher were conducted. Students gained invaluable experience, gained practical skills. Thus, S.P. Botkin's clinical analysis formed the basis of a new method of training specialists.

Since 1867, lectures by the scientist Botkin have been published. It was a three-volume work "The Course of the Clinic of Internal Diseases", with translation into many European languages. S.P. Botkin, having received an excellent education, had extensive knowledge. His activities were not limited to internal diseases. He dealt with the problems of pharmacology, dermatology, otorhinolaryngology, normal and pathological physiology. Sergey Petrovich's contribution to the study of infectious diseases is difficult to overestimate. He studied the clinic and epidemiology of plague, cholera, typhus, smallpox, acute hepatitis, one of the forms of which in Russia was called "Botkin's disease".

Sergey Petrovich Botkin was also a major public figure. He organized a census of the elderly population of St. Petersburg. There was a need to improve the quality of medical care for the elderly. It was also necessary to collect material to study the causes and conditions of aging of Petersburgers. Thus, Sergey Petrovich was the first scientist who became involved in gerontology and geriatrics. He was one of the organizers of the Epidemiological Society and the journal "Epidemiological Leaflet", headed the commission on sanitary supervision in schools. With the direct participation of S.P.Botkin, the Alexander City Barrack Hospital was opened. It was the first model infectious diseases hospital in Russia. It was rightfully considered one of the best hospitals in Europe. S.P.Botkin was one of the founders of professional medical education for women, Chairman of the St. George Church of the Sisters of Mercy (St. George Community of Sisters of Mercy). In 1872, at the Imperial Medical Academy, he created the first training center in Russia where women could receive higher medical education. It was a "Special course for the education of learned midwives" with a 4-year training period.

Sergey Petrovich was a scientific figure of 33 educational and scientific institutions and scientific societies, including 9 foreign ones [1].


About the authors

Veronika Ivanovna Kochegarova

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N.Burdenko

Author for correspondence.
Email: kochegarova.veronika@list.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9249-5140

1st year student of the Faculty of Medicine

Russian Federation, Russia, Voronezh g., Studentskaya str.,10

Olga Vasilievna Makhinova

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N.Burdenko

Email: mahinovaolga@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1799-6361
SPIN-code: 2567-9521


Russian Federation, Russia, Voronezh g., Studentskaya str.,10

Diana Anatolievna Povalyuhina

Voronezh State Medical University named after N.N.Burdenko

Email: pov-diana@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7308-1396
SPIN-code: 6058-7007


Russia, Voronezh g., Studentskaya str.,10


  1. Бельских А.Н. Сергей Петрович Боткин и его вклад в развитие Императорской Военно-медицинской академии/ А.Н. Бельских, В.Б. Антонов, А.Н. Богданов, В.И. Мазуров, В.В. Тыренко, В.Н. Цыган. – Текст: электронный // Вестник Российской военно-медицинской академии. – 2012. – URL: https://www.vmeda.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/pdf/7-14.pdf

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