Aleksandr Shcherbak

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shcherbak, Aleksandr Efimovich


Born June 13 (25), 1863 (according to some sources, Aug. 30, 1863), in Chernigov Province; died Apr. 23, 1934, in Sevastopol’. Soviet physician; a pioneer in scientific physical therapy, health resort science, and physical preventive medicine.

Shcherbak graduated from the St. Petersburg Military Medical Academy in 1887. In 1894 he became a professor in the department of nervous and mental diseases of Warsaw University. He left his position in 1910 in protest against the reactionary policies of L. A. Kasso, the minister of education. In 1914 he organized the institute of physical methods of therapy in Sevastopol’ and became the institute’s director. Shcherbak’s research was devoted to the pathogenesis and symptoms of nervous and mental diseases, the physiological effects of physical factors, and anatomical and physiological interactions in physical therapy procedures. He devised and introduced into practice new techniques of reflex and segmental physical therapy (for example, of the cervical and lumbar areas) and proposed a method for investigating thermoregulatory, skin-muscle, and skin-skin reflexes.

Shcherbak founded a school of physical therapy and health resort science.


Klinicheskie lektsii po nervnym i dushevnym bolezniam. Warsaw, 1901.
Osnovnye trudy po fizioterapii. Leningrad-Sevastopol’, 1936.


Likhterman, B. V. “A. E. Shcherbak i ego vklad v sovetskuiu fizioterapiiu.” Voprosy kurortologii, fizioterapii i lechebnoi fizicheskoi kul’tury, 1963, no. 5
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.