Medical Collegium

Medical Collegium


(Meditsinskaia Kollegiia), the highest state agency responsible for the administration of medical affairs in 18th-century Russia; established in 1763.

According to the decree under which it was established, the Medical Collegium had the “authority to regulate the practice of medicine throughout the empire and the spread of medical science, surgery, and all matters appertaining thereto.” Prior to the establishment of the Medical Collegium, medical affairs in Russia were managed by the Aptekarskii Prikaz (Pharmaceutical Department; after 1725, by the Medical Chancellery). The Medical Collegium consisted of two departments—a medical board and a financial and administrative office. The Medical Collegium was responsible for organizing medical care, training medical personnel, and inviting foreign physicians to Russia. In 1764 it was given the right to confer the degree of doctor of medicine, but it rarely used this right. The collegium organized expeditions to discover domestic sources of medicinal raw materials and herbs. It commissioned several treatises on drugs in Russian, and it issued a national pharmacopeia in Latin in 1778 (translated into Russian in 1802).

The Medical Collegium collected the works of physicians with the intention of publishing them periodically in Zapiski russkikh vrachei (Transactions of Russian Physicians). It collected about 1,000 articles between the 1760’s and the early 19th century, but the journal was never established, and only about 50 of the articles were published, in Latin, in 1805.

The Medical Collegium existed until the ministry system was created in 1803, when it was incorporated into the Ministry of the Interior as the Office (Ekspeditsiia) of the State Medical Board.


Petrov, E. Sobranie Rossiiskikh Zakonov o meditsinskom upravlenii. St. Petersburg, 1826.
Chistovich, Ia. A. Ocherki po istorii russkikh meditsinskikh uchrezhdenii XVIII stoletiia. St. Petersburg, 1870.
Palkin, B. N. Russkie gospital’nye shkoly XVIII veka i ikh vospitanniki. Moscow, 1959.


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