Varvara Kashevarova-Rudneva

Kashevarova-Rudneva, Varvara Aleksandrovna


Born in 1842 in Vitebsk; died Apr. 29 (May 11), 1899, in Staraia Russa. Russian scientist; the first woman in Russia to receive the title of physician and the degree of doctor of medicine.

Kashevarova-Rudneva graduated from the Midwife’s Institute of the St. Petersburg Foundling Home in 1862. Subsequently she took courses on the diagnosis and treatment of syphilis at Kalinkin Hospital in St. Petersburg. In 1863 she obtained permission from the minister of war to enroll in the Medical and Surgical Academy, from which she graduated in 1868 with the diploma of “distinguished physician” and a gold medal. In 1876 she defended her doctoral dissertation (Materials Toward a Pathological Anatomy of the Vagina), in which vaginal sarcomas were described for the first time. She began working in the clinic of S. P. Botkin. Despite her academic degree, Kashevarova-Rudneva was not permitted to participate in scientific and pedagogical activities. She had a medical practice in St. Petersburg, Zheleznovodsk, and Voronezh Province. Kashevarova-Rudneva was also the author of fiction (including the autobiographical novella Pioneer, 1886).


“K ucheniiu o pliatsentarnykh polipakh.” Zhurnal dlia normal’noi i patologicheskoi gistologii i klinicheskoi meditsiny, September-October, 1873.
Gigiena zhenskogo organizma vo vsekh fazisakh zhizni, 2d ed. St. Petersburg, 1892.


Dionesov, S. M. V A. Kashevarova-Rudneva—pervaia russkaia zhenshchina-doktor meditsiny. Moscow, 1965.
Zabludovskaia, E. D. V. A. Kashevarova-Rudneva. Moscow, 1965.


References in periodicals archive ?
Remarkable by any standard is the autobiography of Varvara Kashevarova-Rudneva, the first woman doctor to qualify in Russia, the child of a poor Jewish family who learned to read only at the age of thirteen, and who describes her struggles against the medical establishment with memorable relish.