Google paid tribute to Russian surgeon, professor, poet, and author Dr. Vera Gedroits on her 151st birthday with a special Doodle on Monday, April 19. She was the first female military surgeon in Russia, the first female professor of surgery, and the first woman to serve as a physician in the Imperial Palace of Russia. She saved countless lives through her fearless service and innovations in the field of wartime medicine.
Sharing details about her, Google wrote: “Thank you, Vera Gedroits, for pushing the world of medicine forward, even with the odds stacked against you.”
Vera Ignatievna Gedroits was born in 1870 into a family of Lithuanian royal descent in Kiev, then part of the Russian Empire. In her late teens, she left Russia to study medicine in Switzerland. Dr. Gedroits returned home at the turn of the 20th century, and she soon began her pioneering medical career as the surgeon at a factory hospital.
Highlighting about her work, the Google Doodle page wrote: “When the Russo-Japanese War broke out in 1904, Dr. Gedroits volunteered as a surgeon on a Red Cross hospital train. Under threat of enemy fire, she performed complex abdominal operations in a converted railway car with such unprecedented success that her technique was adopted as the new standard by the Russian government. Following her battlefield service, Dr. Gedroits worked as a surgeon for the Russian royal family before her return home to Kiev, where she was appointed professor of surgery at the University of Kiev in 1929.”
Dr Gedroits authored several medical papers on nutrition and surgical treatments during her time as a professor. She also published multiple collections of poems, and several nonfiction works, including the 1931 memoir simply titled “Life,” which told the story of her personal journey that led to service on the front lines in 1904.