Mukhin, Efrem

Mukhin, Efrem Osipovich


Born Jan. 26 (Feb. 6), 1766, in Chuguev, in what is now Kharkov Oblast; died January 1850 in the village of Kol’tsovo, in what is now Smolensk Oblast. Russian physician and surgeon, anatomist, physiologist, hygienist, and forensic medical scientist.

From 1809 to 1816, Mukhin was a professor at the Moscow Academy of Medicine and Surgery. He also taught as a professor from 1813 to 1835 in the department of medicine at Moscow University and was the department’s dean in 1816–17 and from 1821 to 1826. Between 1802 and 1812 he was head physician at Golitsyn Hospital (now the First Municipal Hospital in Moscow).

Mukhin was a founder of the anatomical-physiological school in medicine. He was one of the first to advance the idea that the brain plays a very important role in all the processes of the healthy and sick body. Mukhin was the first Russian physiologist to expound the basic theses of reflex theory and the ideas of nervism. He established a theory concerning the principles of individual perception of external and internal stimuli; he used the theory to substantiate methods of reviving apparently dead persons and physio-therapeutic methods of treatment.

Mukhin passionately advocated the use of vaccination and organized a vaccination program in Russia. He made an important contribution to the development of independent Russian anatomical terminology, the introduction of practical studies on cadavers for students of anatomy and forensic medicine, and the invention of a method of preparing synovial bursae on frozen cadavers. He laid the foundations of Russian traumatology; he developed original methods of repositioning dislocations, setting fractures, and immobilizing extremities while preserving their physiological position and fixating neighboring joints. Among Mukhin’s students were N. I. Pirogov, I. V. Buial’skii, and I. E. Diad’kovskii.


Pervye nachala kostopravnoi nauki. Moscow, 1806.
Opisaniia khirurgicheskikh operatsii, parts 1–2. Moscow, 1807.
De sensibilitatis sede et actione oratio. Moscow, 1817.
Kurs anatomii, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1818.


Kvasov, D. G. “Fiziologicheskie idei E. O. Mukhina.” Fiziologicheskii zhumall, 1954, vol. 40, no. 1.
Shilinis, Iu. A. E. O. Mukhin i anatomo-fiziologicheskoe napravlenie v meditsine. Moscow, 1960. (Contains a bibliography.)