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Zentralbl Chir. 2000;125(6):552-60.

[Life and work of the surgeon Ernst von Bergmann (1836-1907), long-term editor of the "Zentralblatt für Chirurgie"].

[Article in German]


Ernst von Bergmann (* December 16, 1836 at Riga- [symbol: see text] March 25, 1907 at Wiesbaden) was one of the most famous and successful surgeons in Europe at the end of the 19th century. Having passed his medical education at the University of Dorpat/Latvia he did his doctorate on a pharmacological subject and habilitated as a young assistant already in 1863 with a well-founded experimental study on animals to the question of fat embolism. The voluntary participation as medical officer in three wars (1866, 1870/71, 1877/78) gave him the qualification to express important logistic conditions for the case of vast numbers of wounded soldiers, to demand an increased deployment of better trained ancillary and nursing staff as well as to establish a modified procedure for the treatment of gunshot wounds, particulary of the joints and the skull. In his position as regular professor and head of the surgical department at the Universities of Dorpat (1871-1878), Würzburg (1878-1882) and Berlin (1882-1907) he redressed quickly architectural and infrastructural mismanagements despite of complex obstacles, spoke up for a diversified education of the students he has been entrusted with, supported untiringly the career path of his collaborators and published a huge number of internationally approved scientific articles. In addition to his very time-consuming clinical activities, which even took him to the highest social classes, von Bergmann became initiator of the surgical asepsis and developed operative methods valid up to this day in traumatology, abdominal, tumour and, above all, in neurological surgery. Being member or chairman of different medical associations and editor of prestigious periodicals, he started an effective post-graduate training for interested colleagues and arranged the first qualified exhaustive rescue service in the German capital.

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