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Books, Journals, New Media
June 24, 1998

Doctor ChekhovDoctor Chekhov: A Study in Literature and Medicine

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 1998;279(24):2007-2008. doi:10.1001/jama.279.24.2007-JBK0624-3-1

It is well known that Anton Chekhov, the Russian playwright and short-story writer, was a physician as well as a writer. However, what is not well known is how deeply medicine influenced Chekhov's writings. In this brief book, Dr John Coope, a general practitioner in Cheshire, England, examines how Chekhov the physician and Chekhov the writer informed each other.

Chekhov entered the Medical Faculty of Moscow University in 1879, at age 19 years. Those were heady days: the scientific basis for medicine was being laid; breakthroughs in sanitation, internal medicine, and surgery allowed progress only dreamt of a generation earlier. Chekhov's empathic, analytic mind was shaped by a number of his teachers at the Medical Faculty. After graduation, Chekhov practiced in and around Moscow.

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