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August 20, 1982

Russian Physicians In an Era of Reform and Revolution, 1856-1905

JAMA. 1982;248(7):882-883. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330070070047

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Russian Physicians in an Era of Reform and Revolution is the fascinating and disturbing story of the development of the medical profession in Russia between the Crimean War and the revolution of 1905. Historian Nancy Mandelker Frieden describes how the social changes and the science of the period affected the evolution of medicine as a profession and led many physicians to conclude that they could execute their professional duties only through political radicalism. The experience of Russian physicians can throw light on problems that US physicians may face in the future.

Since de Tocqueville, historians have commented on the resemblance between Russia and the United States. Growing up at opposite ends of the earth, each flooded across relatively primitive regions to become the first modern empire-nations. As one Russian foreign minister commented in the 1860s, the United States and Russia have "a natural community of interests and sympathies."

However, the