Medical Journals

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Medical Journals


Until the second half of the 17th century, works on various problems in medicine were published in general scientific journals. For example, Journal des scavans (Paris, 1655-1792) included works on the anatomy of the brain and pharyngeal muscles.

The first specialized medical journal was Nouvelles Descouvertes sur toutes les parties de la medecine (Paris, 1679-81), published by the Parisian surgeon N. Blegny. This was followed by Medicina curiosa (London, 1684), Hippocrates ridens (London, 1686), Progres de la medecine (Paris, 1695-1709), Acta Medicorum Berolinensium (Berlin, 1717-32), Der patriotische Medicus (Hamburg, 1724-27), Der Arzt (Altona-Hamburg, 1759-64), Giornale di medicina (Venice, 1762-76), and Der Arzt (Hamburg, 1769). By the beginning of the 18th century, there were more than 170 medical journals and other scientific periodicals on medicine.

Prerevolutionary Russia and the USSR. The first Russian medical journal was Sankt-Peterburgskie vrachebnye vedomosti (St. Petersburg Medical Record; 1792-94), which was published by Professor F. I. Uden of the Kalinkin Surgical Institute. Moscow journals included Mediko-fizicheskii zhurnal (Medico-Physical Journal; 1808-21); Vseobshchii zhurnal vrachebnoi nauki (General Journal of Medical Science; 1811-16) and Voenno-meditsinskii zhurnal (Military-Medical Journal; 1823-1917 and since 1944) were issued in St. Petersburg. Vestnik estestvennykh nauk i meditsiny (Natural Sciences and Medical Herald; 1828-29 and 1831-32; published by A. A. lovskii) and Drug zdraviia (Friend of Health; 1833-69) and Moskovskii vrachebnyi zhurnal (Moscow Physicians’ Journal; 1847-58; published by A. I. Polunin) made great contributions to Russian medicine.

The development of the medical and biological sciences and the flowering of Russian public life at the end of the 1850’s and the beginning of the 1860’s affected the medical journals, the majority of which spoke out on the basic problems of medical science and practice from progressive, democratic points of view. Moskovskaia meditsinskaia gazeta (Moscow Medical Gazette; 1858-78), founded by F. I. Inozemtsev, advanced progressive ideas on public medicine and advocated drawing on the means of the government and the ruling classes to meet the health needs of the people. Meditsinskii vestnik (Medical Herald; 1861-85), edited by Ia. A. Chistovich, published Brain Reflexes, a materialist work by I. M. Sechenov. It was also the first journal to print works by women physicians. Sovremennaia meditsina (Modern Medicine; 1860-80), founded by Professor A. P. Val’ter of the University of Kiev, advocated the physiological approach to medicine and often criticized medical and sanitary conditions in Russia.

Arkhiv sudebnoi meditsiny i obshchestvennoi gigieny (Archives of Forensic Medicine and Public Hygiene; 1865-71, St. Petersburg), notwithstanding its semiofficial position as the organ of the medical department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, played a positive role in the development of public medicine, hygiene, and sanitation. Even before the publication of Marx’ Das Kapital in Russian, this journal included numerous passages from the book in an article entitled “On the Situation of Workers in Western Europe With Respect to Hygiene.” The journal Vrach (The Physician; 1880-1901), edited by V. A. Manassein, put progressive democratic ideas into practice by supporting zemstvo (district and provincial assembly) medicine and by speaking out repeatedly on problems of medical ethics.

The turn of the 20th century was marked by the appearance of specialized journals, including theoretical ones such as Zhurnal dlia normal’noi i patologicheskoi gistologii i klinicheskoi meditsiny (Journal of Normal and Pathological Histology and Clinical Medicine; 1870-77), Russkii arkhiv patologii, klinicheskoi meditsiny i bakteriologii (Russian Archives of Pathology, Clinical Medicine, and Bacteriology; 1896-1902), and Zhurnal mikrobiologii (Journal of Microbiology; 1914-17). Among the new journals of internal medicine were Botkin’s Bol’nichnaia gazeta (Hospital Gazette; 1890-1903), Sovremennaia terapiia (Modern Internal Medicine; 1896-1905), Terapevticheskii vestnik (Internal Medicine; 1898-1903), and Terapevticheskoe obozrenie (Internal Medicine Review; 1908-15). Surgery journals included Khirurgicheskii vestnik (Surgical Herald; 1885-94), Khirurgiia (Surgery; 1897-1914), and Khirurgicheskii arkhiv Vel’iaminova (Vel’iaminov’s Surgical Archives; 1910-17). A number of journals of neuropathology and psychiatry were founded, including Vestnik klinicheskoi i sudebnoi psikhiatrii i nevropatologii (Clinical and Forensic Psychiatry and Neuropathology; 1883-99), Nevrologicheskii vestnik (Neurology; 1893-1918), and Psikhiatricheskaia gazeta (Psychiatric Gazette, 1914-18).

Obstetrics and gynecology were represented by Zhurnal akusherstva i zhenskikh boleznei (Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecopathy; 1887-1917) and pediatrics, by Detskaia meditsina (Pediatric Medicine; 1896-1905) and Okhrana materinstva i mladenchestva (Maternal and Infant Protection; 1916-1917). The specialized journal in otorhinolaryngology was Vestnik ushnykh, gorlovykh i nosovykh boleznei (Ear, Throat, and Nose Diseases 1898-1917); in ophthalmology, Vestnik oftalmologii (Ophthalmology; 1894-1917); in dermatology and venereology, Russkii zhurnal kozhnykh i venericheskikh boleznei (Russian Journal of Skin and Venereal Diseases; 1901-17); and in hygiene, Sanitarnoe delo (Sanitation; 1890-93) and Gigiena i sanitariia (Hygiene and Sanitation; 1910-13). Rentgenovskii vestnik (Roentgen Herald; 1907-09) focused on roentgenology. There were also journals devoted to stomatology, the study of tuberculosis, balneology and climatotherapy, pharmacy, and many other branches of medicine.

During the same period a number of general medical journals were published, including Meditsinskoe obozrenie (Medical Review; 1874-1918), Kazanskii meditsinskii zhurnal (Kazan Journal of Medicine; 1901-16), and Russkii vrach (Russian Physician; 1901-18). There were more than 150 medical journals at the beginning of the 20th century. Among them were journals of general and specialized medical science and publications dealing with public medicine, such as Vrachebno-sanitarnye khroniki (Medical and Sanitation Chronicles) and Vrachebnosanitarnye obzory (Medical and Sanitation Survey); journals for medical personnel with secondary education, such as Fel’dsher (Physician’s Assistant; 1891-1917), Akusherka (Midwife; 1890-1917), and Fel’dsherskii vestnik (Physician’s Assistant’s Herald; 1906-18); and popular scientific publications. The number of medical journals dropped sharply during World War I (1914-18).

The general rise in the level of medical science in the USSR after the October Revolution led to the publication of more medical journals and to a sharp rise in the level of their scientific and ideological content. A number of journals were founded during the very first years of Soviet power, including Vrachebnoe delo (Medicine; since 1918), Russkii fiziologicheskii zhurnal im. I. M. Sechenova (I. M. Sechenov Russian Journal of Physiology, 1917-31, since 1932, Fiziologicheskii zhurnal im. I. M. Sechenova), Klinicheskaia meditsina (Clinical Medicine; since 1920), Vestnik rentgenologii i radiologii (Roentgenology and Radiology, since 1920), and Novyi khirurgicheskii arkhiv (New Surgical Archives; since 1921). Other medical journals founded under Soviet power include Vestnik khirurgii im. I. I. Grekova (I. I. Grekov Surgical Herald; since 1922), Vestnik dermatologii i venerologii (Dermatology and Venereology, 1937-41 and since 1945), Terapevticheskii arkhiv (Archives of Internal Medicine; since 1923), Urologiia (Urology; 1922-41; since 1945, Urologiia i nefrologiia—Urology and Nephrology), and Sudebno-meditsinskaia ekspertiza (Forensic Medical Examination; since 1958).

Certain medical journals are considered authoritative by readers, both in the USSR and abroad. These include Ortopediia, travmatologiia iprotezirovanie (Orthopedics, Traumatology, and Prosthesis; since 1927), Khirurgiia (Surgery; since 1937), Arkhiv anatomii, gistologii i embriologii (Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology Archives; since 1917), and Meditsinskaia parazitologiia i parazitarnye bolezni (Medical Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases; since 1923). Other journals viewed as authorities in their fields are Pediatriia (Pediatrics; since 1922), Ginekologiia i akusherstvo (Gynecology and Obstetrics; 1922-35; since 1936, Akusherstvo i ginekologiia), and Zhurnal mikrobiologii, epidemiologii i immunobiologii (Journal of Microbiology, Epidemiology, and Immunobiology; since 1924). Also among the internationally respected Soviet medical journals are Problemy endokrinologii i gormonoterapii (Problems of Endocrinology and Hormone Therapy; since 1955), Problemy tuberkulezu (Problems of Tuberculosis; since 1923), Voprosy neirokhirurgii (Problems of Neurosurgery; since 1937), and Sovetskaia meditsina (Soviet Medicine; since 1937).

New medical journals were established in the 1950’s and 1960’s, reflecting both scientific and technological progress and the specialization and differentiation of medicine. Among them are Antibiotiki (Antibiotics; 1948-49 and since 1956), Voprosy virusologii (Problems of Virology; since 1956), Voprosy revmatizma (Problems of Rheumatism; since 1961), Grudnaia khirurgiia (Thoracic Surgery; since 1959), and Kardiologiia (Cardiology; since 1961). Other Soviet medical journals founded after 1950 include Meditsinskaia radiologiia (Medical Radiology, since 1956), Meditsinskaia tekhnika (Medical Technology; since 1967), Eksperimental’naia khirurgiia i anesteziologiia (Experimental Surgery and Anesthesiology; since 1956), and Meditsinskii referativnyi zhurnal (Medical Abstracts Journal; since 1957). As of 1973, 98 medical journals were published in the Soviet Union and issued in all the Soviet republics.

Abroad. The number of foreign medical journals increased during the 19th century. Among those published in Great Britain were Lancet (London, since 1823) and the British Medical Journal (London, since 1857); in France, Journal universel des sciences médicates (Paris, 1816-36), Revue médicale française et étrangære (Paris, 1822-86) and Gazette médicale de Paris (Paris, 1830-1916); and in Austria, Allgemeine Wiener medizinische Zeitung (Vienna, 1856-1915). Nordisches Archiv für Natur- und Arzneywissenschaft und Chirurgie (Copenhagen, 1799-1805) was published in Denmark, and the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery and Collateral Branches of Science (Boston, 1812-26) was issued in the USA.

Specialized medical journals on theoretical and clinical medicine included Bibliothek fur die Chirurgie (Göttingen, 1805-13), Archiv für Anatomie, Physiologic, und wissenschaftliche Medizin (Berlin-Leipzig, 1834-76), Journal der Chirurgie und Augen-Heilkunde(Berlin, 1820-50), Journal de physiologie expérimentale et pathologique (Paris, 1821-31), Journal de chirurgie (Paris, 1843-46), Medico-Chirurgical Transactions (London, 1809-1907), and Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal (Worcester-London, 1840-52).

The number of medical journals increased substantially around the turn of the 20th century. General medical publications of this period included Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (Leipzig-Stuttgart, since 1875), the Journal of the AMA (New York, since 1848), and La Presse medicale (Paris, since 1893). The period also saw the appearance of specialized journals devoted to general pathology, histology, physiology, microbiology, epidemiology, roentgenology, otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology, neuropathology, and psychiatry. Among these were Virchow’s Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für klinische Medizin (Berlin, since 1847), founded and edited for many years by R. Virchow; the Belgian journal La Cellule: Recueil de cytologie et d’histologie generate (Louvain, since 1884); and Annales de l’Institut Pasteur (Paris, since 1887), which started publication with the participation of Pasteur’s closest collaborators and pupils. Also founded in the late 19th century were the British Journal of Physiology (London, since 1878) and Brain: A Journal of Neurology (London, since 1878); the German journals Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten (Berlin, since 1868), Archiv für Augen- und Ohrenheilkunde (Wiesbaden, since 1869), Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Epidemiologie (Stuttgart, 1874-76), Archiv für Hygiene und Bakteriologie (Munich-Berlin, since 1883), and Beiträge zur pathologischen Anatomie und zur allgemeinen Pathologie (Jena, since 1886). The medical periodicals established in the late 19th century also included the French journals Annales des maladies des organes génito-urinaires (Paris, 1882-1911), Annales de dermatologie et de syphiligraphie (Paris, since 1868), and Revue de laryngologie, d’otologie et de rhinologie (Paris-Bordeaux, since 1880) and the Italian journal Sperimentale (Florence, 1849-57).

Scientific progress and the development of the medical and biological sciences led to the publication of journals devoted to new branches of theoretical and practical medicine. New publications appeared on endocrinology, including Hormoon (Oss [the Netherlands], since 1931) and Folia endocrinologica (Pisa, since 1948); oncology, including Cancer Research (Chicago, since 1941), Archiv für Geschwulstforschung (Dresden-Leipzig, since 1949), and Cancer (New York, since 1948); and radiology and radiotherapy, including Radiology (St. Paul [Minn.], since 1923) and Magyar radiologia (Budapest, since 1949).

The differentiation of clinical medicine and the emergence of new medical specialties also resulted in the appearance of publications on cardiology, such as Cardiologia (Basel-New York, since 1937), American Heart Journal (St. Louis, since 1925), and Minerva cardioangiologica (Turin, since 1953); on allergology, including The Journal of Allergy (St. Louis, since 1929); on gastroenterology, including Gastroenterologia (Basel-Berlin, since 1895); on pulmonology, including Thorax (London, since 1946); and on anesthesiology, including Anesthesiology (Lancaster, since 1940) and Anesthésie, analgésic, réanimation (Paris, since 1935).

The journals Virology (New York, since 1955), Revue d’immunologie et de therapie antimicrobienne (Paris, since 1935), and The Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, since 1916) are devoted to research in virology and immunology. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology (Montreal-Amsterdam, since 1949) and Transplantation (Baltimore, since 1963) are also among the new, specialized medical journals.

International medical journals have been established, including some published in Russian, such as Zhurnalgigieny, epidemiologii, mikrobiologii i immunologii (Journal of Hygiene, Epidemiology, Microbiology, and Immunology; Prague, since 1957). Other new international medical journals include Sănătătea (Bucharest, since 1960) and Acta chirurgiae plasticae: Mezhdunarodnyi zhurnal plasticheskoi khirurgii (International Journal of Plastic Surgery; Prague, 1959).

In all, approximately 7,000 medical journals are published outside the USSR. Journals of medical abstracts, such as Excerpta medica (Amsterdam, since 1947), and an index of world medical literature entitled Index medicus (New York-Washington, since 1960) are useful as guides to available medical literature.


Zhbankov, D. N. “Materialy k istorii russkoi meditsinskoi pressy v 1792-1924 gg.” Vrachebnoe delo, nos. 23-24, pp. 1695-1708. Kharkov, 1927.
Levit, M. M. Meditsinskaia periodicheskaia pechat’ v Rossii i SSSR (1792-1962). Moscow, 1963.
Harrison, F. H. “The Medical and Scientific Periodicals in the 17th and 18th Centuries.” Bulletin of the Institute of the History of Medicine, 1934, vol. 2, no. 5.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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