War in physician reception: A. G. Podrez and his military-surgical notes





The authors devoted the jubilee article for the 170th anniversary of the birth of outstanding surgeon, scientist, and Professor of Imperial Kharkiv University A. G. Podrez, namely, to a little-known in academic circles historical source, his notes on medical practice during the Serbian-Turkish war of 1876. In that war, the young surgeon gained the first serious surgical experience and received a great impetus for professional development. Coverage in the literature does not correspond an informative value of the unique historical source; therefore, the authors aim to systemize and analyze the materials collected by the medic, to evaluate their informative value, as well as to make them accessible to a wider group of scientists. To achieve the goal, scrutineers carried out analysis of the historical source according to the traditional for Ukraine scheme with the division of criticism into external and internal. In the frames of external criticism, they considered issues of authorship, historical conditions of source creation, and its structure. Within the framework of internal one, they systemized and analyzed historical reflection of medical care organization for the wounded in the source; material supply of medic’s activities; specific characteristics of medical staff; reflection of information about Serbia; the enemy; patients of the hospital of the 1st Kharkiv Sanitary Detachment, and treatment. In addition, the authors used comparative analysis of the source implicating works of other memoirists to check objectivity of the notes. Authors conclude that the pointed military-surgical notes are of great informative value for specialists in traditional history of medicine, social history of medicine, history of health care, military history, history of Serbia and the Balkans. Furthermore, the notes contain unique military-medical and historical data, depict extreme everyday life of that time; it has a high degree of objectivity, even despite the personal origin of the source and the direct involvement of A. G. Podrez into the events and situations depicted in the work. We can see that it is not a military propaganda work, the author tried to share his own professional experience and vision of the situation with self-criticism. However, the content of the notes is much wider than professional one, it shows us a bright multidimensional picture of that unlucky for the Serbians war.