Sigerist, Henry Ernest

Sigerist, Henry Ernest

Sigerist, Henry Ernest (sĭgˈərĭst), 1891–1957, American medical historian and writer, b. Paris, M.D. Univ. of Zürich, 1917. He taught history of medicine at the universities of Zürich (1921–23) and Leipzig (1925–32) before coming to the United States. From 1932 to 1947 he was professor at and director of the institute of the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins. In 1947 he returned to Switzerland to work on a comprehensive multivolume history of medicine. His publications include Man and Medicine (1932), Great Doctors (1933), Socialized Medicine in the Soviet Union (1937), Medicine and Human Welfare (1941), Civilization and Disease (1943), and A History of Medicine (2 vol., 1951–61).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sigerist, Henry Ernest


Born Apr. 7, 1891, in Paris; died Mar. 17, 1957, in Pura, Ticino, Switzerland. Swiss medical historian. Professor from 1924.

In 1925, Sigerist was appointed director of the Medical History Institute in Leipzig. Beginning in 1932 he worked at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He worked in Switzerland from 1947.

Sigerist’s works promoted the development of medical history as an independent scientific discipline. He studied medical history in all its social, economic, organizational, and philosophic aspects. He criticized the public health system in the USA because of the unavailability of specialized medical care to most of the population. Sigerist propagandized the achievements of Soviet medicine and public health.

Sigerist organized (1933) and was editor (1933–47) of a journal on the history of medicine, which since 1939 has been known as the Bulletin of the History of Medicine. From 1943 to

1947 he was editor of the journal American Review of Soviet Medicine.


Grosse Ärzte. Munich, 1932.
Socialized Medicine in the Soviet Union. New York [1937].
Civilization and Disease. Ithaca, N. Y., 1944.
Medicine and Health in the Soviet Union. New York [1947].
A History of Medicine, vol. 1. New York, 1955.
In Russian translation:
“Trevoga v sovremennom meditsinskom mire.” Sovetskii vrachebnyi zhurnal 1936, no. 13.


Lisitsyn, Iu. P., and I. V. Vengrova. “Pamiati G. E. Zigerista.” Sovetskaia meditsina, 1957, no. 12. (Bibliography.)


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