Google on Monday honoured the life of Russian surgeon, professor, poet, and author Dr Vera Gedroits on her 151st birthday with a doodle. 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.” During the Russo-Japanese War, her initiative to perform abdominal surgeries against established policies changed the way battlefield medicine was performed. During her time as a professor, she also authored several medical papers on nutrition and surgical treatments. 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. 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.
Gedroits was born in 1870 into a prominent 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.