New article by Elena Vishlenkova and Sergey Zatravkin
An official’s complaint about a Polish private doctor who treated his children for scarlet fever in 1827 gave rise to a unique document – a description of the treatment process and of the doctor’s interaction with patients, pharmacists, and Russian authorities. Such evidence is rarely found in the Russian archives. Since private doctors did not report to the officials, their testimonies, as a rule, are not preserved in the state archives. A text found in the archives of the Vilna Medical Board stimulated the authors of the present article to investigate the state of medical care and medical culture of the Polish population that became part of the Russian Empire after the Third Partition of Poland. Vishlenkova and Zatravkin have found that, unlike the rest of the Empire, a rather dense network of private medical care existed in Vilna province until the 1830s, and the level of scientific medical culture of the patients allowed them to establish control over treatment.