The Story Is in The Faces. Russian Doctor Claudia Vasilevna Burtseva

  • Authors: Chernova M.1, Terskikh A.1
  • Affiliations:
    1. Voronezh State Medical University named after N. N. Burdenko
  • Pages: 247-250
  • URL:

Cite item


The article tells about the life of the founder of the medical dynasty, Honored Doctor of the RSFSR, honorary citizen of the Lipetsk region Claudia Vasilyevna Burtseva, about the periods of her formation, life during the Great Patriotic War, her contribution to the development of the Lipetsk region.

Full Text

Claudia Vasilyevna Choporova was born on April 4, 1919 in the village of Elan-Koleno, Novokhopersky district, Voronezh Province, in a peasant family.
After graduating from the seven-year school, she entered the working faculty, and then the Voronezh Medical Institute, from which she graduated in 1940.
During her studies, Claudia Vasilyevna married a serviceman A.V. Burtsev, who was later appointed deputy head of the machine gun school in Vinnitsa. There their young family, together with two young children, was caught by the Great Patriotic War.
During the war, K.V. worked in Udmurtia in an evacuation hospital, was retrained as a surgeon in Kazan, served in the medical and sanitary battalion of the 30th Rifle Kiev-Zhytomyr Red Banner Division in Czechoslovakia. She provided assistance even at the cost of her own life. Once, due to the lack of donor blood of the right group, she did not hesitate to offer her own for direct transfusion, as a result of which she was infected with jaundice[1]. But for her it was a trifle compared to the fact that the young lieutenant was rescued and returned to the front. Her life is full of such stories.
After the end of the war, Claudia and her family returned to Voronezh and began working as a resident at the regional clinical hospital, preparing for the defense of her PhD thesis, becoming secretary of the party bureau.
In 1952, Claudia Vasilyevna was appointed Deputy Head of the Voronezh Regional Health Department. During these years, it was headed by Ivan Pavlovich Furmenko, the future rector of the Burdenko VSMU.
In January 1954, Claudia Vasilyevna was sent to the newly formed Lipetsk region for the organization of health care, where she became the first head of the regional health department. Thanks to her outstanding organizational skills, she created 10 regional medical and preventive institutions.
At the end of 1954, she successfully defended her PhD thesis on the topic "Tissue therapy of gastric and duodenal ulcer".
In 1957, K.V. Burtseva became the deputy chief physician of the Lipetsk Regional Hospital, and two years later the chief physician. Claudia Vasilyevna has worked in this position for 20 years. Over the years, thanks to hard work and experience, she managed to increase the number of beds from 200 to 600, and assistance began to be provided to patients in 30 specialties instead of 8. New departments equipped with modern diagnostic equipment were opened. It successfully and timely solved the problems of development of the necessary medical services. At the highest level, the work of the entire team was organized to provide planned and emergency medical and diagnostic care to patients. The regional hospital during the leadership of Claudia Vasilyevna has become one of the most advanced in the RSFSR. The experience of organizing work was repeatedly heard at meetings in Moscow, and colleagues from a number of neighboring regions came to Lipetsk.
In 1979, Claudia Vasilyevna retired at the age of 60, but she was able to devote only a month of her life to a well-deserved rest. Thanks to her irrepressible enthusiasm and character, she returns to work again and becomes the head of the examination room, which in a few years turns into a full-fledged examination service with an on-site polyclinic.
For her achievements in scientific and organizational activities, Claudia Vasilyevna was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor (1958), the Red Banner of Labor (1976), the medal "For the Glory of the Lipetsk Region" (2013).
In 1964, she was awarded the title of Honored Doctor of the RSFSR.
Thanks to her phenomenal memory, she wrote more than 120 articles for the Lipetsk Encyclopedia, for which Claudia Vasilyevna was awarded the I. A. Bunin Prize (2003).
By the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Lipetsk region, she wrote and published a book about the development of regional healthcare "People in White Coats".
In 2004, Claudia Vasilyevna Burtseva became the first Honorary citizen of the Lipetsk region.
The creative and social activities of Claudia Vasilyevna were not interrupted for a minute. For several years she worked on the creation of the museum of regional medicine, which she personally opened at the Lipetsk Medical College on the day of her 95th birthday.
With the help of doctors and students, on the initiative of K.V. Burtseva, rare medical books and instruments were collected in one place. Currently, the museum bears her name.
The life of Claudia Vasilyevna was an example for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She became the founder of a large medical dynasty.
Son Yuri Alexandrovich Burtsev (1941-2001) – graduate of VGMI in 1963 – dentist-surgeon, chief physician of the dental polyclinic No. 5 in Voronezh.
Daughter Nelly Alexandrovna Burtseva (1937-1996) – graduate of VGMI 1961 – oculist. She studied at the Medical Faculty of the VSMU in the same group with Yuri Nikolaevich Chernov, who later became the son–in-law of K.V. Burtseva.
Yu.N. Chernov (1937-2021) - MD, Professor, founder and head of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology of the N.N. Burdenko VSMU (1987-2011), Dean of the Faculty of Medicine (1992-2006 years), Honored Doctor of Russia.
The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Claudia Vasilyevna also studied at the Burdenko VSMU, continuing the dynasty and bearing her great name through the years.
During her long and rich in achievements life, Claudia Vasilyevna proved herself as a high-class specialist and a master of her craft. Despite her venerable age, she continued to be active, caring and devoted to her work, kept her youth of spirit and the desire to help others.
Klavdia V. Burtseva is a brilliant example for many doctors who strive to achieve high results in the treatment of their patients. Her love for life, kindness and responsiveness helped people overcome difficulties and live a full life.
She passed away on May 6, 2017 at the age of 99, leaving behind a rich legacy, including a kind of testament to her descendants, in which she once said:
— I have had more than enough grief in my long life: I ran away from the Germans twice, died three times, lost my children and loved ones. But I never lost heart. Because I tried to do good, to bring joy to people. It revived me... So love life and take care of each other — that's my motto.
Claudia Vasilyevna Burtseva was buried in Lipetsk at the Evdokievsky cemetery next to her mother and husband.


About the authors

Mariia Chernova

Voronezh State Medical University named after N. N. Burdenko

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1984-3142

student of the 5th year of the Faculty of Pharmacy

Russian Federation, 10 Studentskays str., Voronezh, 394036, Russia

Anastasia Terskikh

Voronezh State Medical University named after N. N. Burdenko

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9990-4186

Candidate of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology

10 Studentskays str., Voronezh, 394036, Russia


  1. Бурцева, К. В. Люди в белых халатах. - Липецк : ИГ "ИНФОЛ", 2003. - 189 с.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies