Burdenko, Gaaz and Fyodorov: Ten Moscow streets named after hero doctors

July 11
Municipal services

The coronavirus pandemic once again showed that a doctor is not just a profession, but a devotion. Recently the President of Russia supported an initiative to name city streets after medics. Actually, the capital already has places that bear the names of real heroes who stood on guard of people’s health and lives throughout the time. The mos.ru publication narrates about ten of them.

Svyatoslava Fyodorova Street

Northern Administrative Area, Beskudnikovsky District

Formerly a no-name passage connecting Dmitrovskoye Motorway with Beskudnikovsky Boulevard was named after the famous eye doctor and micro surgeon in 2017. The S.N.Fyodorov Eye Microsurgery Research Centre is situated near the new street.  

Doctor S. Fyodorov with a device. Photo by V. Isayev, January 1961. Courtesy of Moscow  Main Archive

Svaytoslav Nikolayevich Fyodorov (1927–2000) contributed to the progress of several groundbreaking areas that make up modern ophthalmology. It was he who successfully performed the first eye-lens implant surgery. Later Fyodorov began to implant corneas as well.

In addition, the famous ophthalmologist performed the world’s first surgery of early-stage glaucoma. Fyodorov’s method of treating this disease was subsequently used around the world. 

In 1967, Svyatoslav Fyodorov became head of the eye diseases department and an artificial eye-lens implant laboratory at the Third Moscow Medical Institute. In 1979, the Eye Microsurgery Institute was set up on the basis of the laboratory.  

Bolshaya and Malaya Pirogovskaya Streets

Central Administrative Area, Khamovniki District

The streets used to be called Bolshaya and Malaya Tsaritsynskaya streets in honour of the nearby courtyard of Peter I’s first wife Yevdokia Lopukhina. In 1924, they were renamed in memory of Nikolai Ivanovich Pirogov (1810–1881), a natural scientist and educator, founder of battlefield surgery.

Portrait of Nikolai Pirogov by Ilya Repin. 1881

Pirogov was a doctor in the field army in the Caucasus. There he used a gypsum bandage for the first time in history. It spared many soldiers and officers from limb amputation. Also, Nikolai Pirogov performed surgeries under ether narcosis in field conditions. The doctor’s management talent appeared quite fortuitous, too – during the 1854 Siege of Sevastopol when he oversaw nurses’ training and performance.

Burdenko Street

Central Administrative Area, Khamovniki District

In 1947, the former Dolgy Pereulok turned into Burdenko Street. It was here where Nikolai Nilovich Burdenko (1876–1946), one of the founders of neurosurgery, lived. He served as a medic during the Russo-Japanese war, WWI, Soviet-Finnish war 1939–1940 and the Great Patriotic War. He was wounded multiple times while on the frontlines.

Academician Nikolai Burdenko, Chief Surgeon of the Red Army. Photo by B.Ignatovich, 1941.  Courtesy of Moscow Main Archive

Burdenko suggested new surgery methods for treating battle wounds and used antibiotics for the first time to combat the spread of infections. The famous surgeon also devised methods for treating cancers of the central and autonomous nervous system and cerebral blood circulation. He managed to launch the surgical treatment of brain tumours on a large scale. Before Burdenko such surgeries were only performed sporadically around the world.  

Sechenovsky Pereulok

Central Administrative Area, Khamovniki District

In 1955, a lane between Ostozhenka Street and Prechistenka Street was named in honour of psychologist and physiologist Ivan Mikhailovich Sechenov (1829–1905) who used to reside there. It was he who discovered that the brain reflexes are the foundation of the higher nervous function.  

Ivan Sechenov was the first to give a detailed description of the fundamental principles of central nervous system activity: central inhibition, summation of excitation and after-discharge.

Censors repeatedly tried to ban the publication of his Reflexes of the Brain educational essay for allegedly challenging the fundamentals of Christianity. In his book Sechenov shows that psychic phenomena are rooted in physiological processes, which can be studied by objective methods. 

Portrait of Ivan Sechenov by Ilya Repin. 1889

The doctor devoted a great deal of time and efforts to teaching, including the development of women’s education. Russia’s first female doctors, Nadezhda Suslova and Maria Bokova, were among Sechenov’s students.

First and Second Botkinsky proyezds

Northern Administrative Area, Begovoi District

Two passages bear the name of Sergei Petrovich Botkin (1832–1889) as does a hospital nearby. They were named in 1952 on the 120th birthday anniversary of physician and founder of the scientific clinic of internal diseases in Russia. 

Sergei Botkin. A colour photoprint from his portrait by Ivan Kramskoi, 1954

Sergei Botkin was a pioneer of a theory of the brain’s crucial role in the course of all diseases and, in fact, predicted many 20th century discoveries in neurology. He also studied the run of such diseases as plague, cholera, typhoid fever, smallpox, diphtheria and scarlet fever. Sergei Botkin was the first to point out the viral nature of hepatitis A and came to the conclusion that contaminated foodstuffs may be the source of infection. Another name for hepatitis A is Botkin’s disease.

The scientist was committed to making healthcare in Russia available to the majority of the population. Charity hospitals providing free medical care were opened in Moscow and St Petersburg at his initiative.

Akademika Bakuleva Street

Southwestern Administrative Area, Tyoply Stan District

The street appeared in the mid-1970s when the 9th residential neighbourhood, formerly Bogorodskoye village, was being developed. Here the residential area borders on Tyoply Stan landscape reserve. In 1980, the city’s new transport thoroughfare was named after Academician Alexander Nikolayevich Bakulev (1890–1967), one of the founders of cardiovascular surgery in Russia. 

Surgeon Alexander Bakulev, a founder of the cardiovascular surgery in the USSR, Academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Photo by D. Sholomovich, 1959. Courtesy of Moscow Main Archive

He was the first in the USSR to perform surgeries on hearts with congenial and acquired diseases and to remove a thoracic aorta aneurism. Alexander Bakulev also performed lung and invented and applied a number of new methods. 

Bekhtereva Street

Southern Administrative Area, Tsaritsyno District

The street was named in 1965 in honour of Vladimir Mikhailovich Bekhterev, a psychiatrist, physiologist and psychologist. The researcher was the first to describe a number of nervous system diseases (one of them was named after him) and suggested methods to treat them. 

Vladimir Bekhterev, 1912

Bekhterev was the founder of a new science – Reflexology, a branch of psychology that treats psychic activity as a combination of reflexes. He studied and treated many mental disorders and syndromes including with the use of hypnosis. The scientist also studied the neuro-psychic development of children and stressed the importance of educating a person beginning in his childhood. 

Mental Hospital No. 14 is now situated on Bekhtereva Street named after the great researcher. 

Akademika Vishnevskogo Square

Southern Administrative Area, Nagorny District

Since 1975 the square between Chongarsky Boulverd, Artekovskaya and Yaltinskaya streets bears the name of Alexander Vasilyevich Vishnevsky (1874–1948), a military surgeon.

He authored a lot of scientific works. Vishnevsky’s anaesthesia (procaine block) became the most widely used in Soviet surgery. 

While using local anaesthesia for a number of years, the academician was able to prove that novocaine (procaine) has a positive effect on tissue regeneration.

New methods of anaesthesia and wound treatment proposed by Vishnevsky during WWII helped save thousands of lives. Balsamic liniment (Vishnevsky ointment) was successfully used for treating combat wounds.

Alexander Vishnevsky. A USSR post stamp

Doctor Gaaz Street

Western Administrative Area, Troparyovo-Nikulino District

A no-name passage near the Yugo-Zapadnaya metro station bears the name of the famous Russian-German philanthropist doctor since 2017.

Fyodor Ivanovich Gaaz (Friedrich Joseph Haass, 1780–1853) was born in a small town of Bad-Munstereifel, currently in Germany. As a young man, he moved to work to Moscow. The doctor worked in three hospitals and also treated some officials and members of the artistic community. Doctor Gaaz did not ask for a fee for this treatment and helped beggars and the poor. 

Fyodor Gaaz

Fyodor Gaaz made a considerable contribution to fighting a trachoma epidemic (an eye disease caused by Chlamydia), participated in the organisation of the Moscow eye hospital, the world’s first specialised ophthalmologic clinic. He also contributed to containing epidemics of typhus and cholera in Moscow.

Fyodor Gaaz spent all his earnings on charity – on shelters and to help the sick. For many years he fought for the easing of conditions of the arrested and exiled. Doctor Gaaz was called a saint doctor in Moscow for his humaneness.

By the way, Fyodor Gaaz was the prototype of the “old general” in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The Idiot. The writer does not give the doctor’s name but points to his German roots and describes his help to criminals in prisons. 

Gamaleya Street 

Northwestern Administrative Area, Shchyukino  District

In 1964, a street in the capital’s northwest was named after one of the founders of the Russian and Soviet microbiology and epidemiology, Nikolai Fyodorovich Gamaleya (1859–1949).

He was the first to develop bacteriology in Russia. After studying the nature of rabies at the Louis Pasteur laboratory in Paris, Gamaleya and biologist Ilya Mechnikov arranged Russia’s first outpost in Odessa to combat rabies, plague and other severe contagious diseases. He was the first in Russia to inoculate people against rabies, which significantly decreased rabies mortality. 

Nikolai Gamaleya

Nikolai Gamaleya was deeply involved in the study and prevention of typhoid fevers, cholera, smallpox and other infectious diseases. It was he who proved that camp fever is transmitted by lice. 

The Gamaleya National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology is situated on this street in Moscow.

Source: mos.ru

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