Zakharin, Grigorii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zakhar’in, Grigorii Antonovich


Born Feb. 8 (20), 1829, in Penza; died Dec. 23, 1897 (Jan. 4, 1898) in Moscow. Russian doctor of internal medicine.

Zakhar’in graduated from the medical department of Moscow University in 1852; from 1856 to 1859 he underwent advanced training abroad in the clinics and laboratories of R. Virchow, A. Trousseau, and C. Bernard. In 1862 he be-came professor-adjunct and in 1864 (to 1896) full professor and director of the departmental clinic at Moscow University.

A representative of the functional school of medicine, Zakhar’in was close in his views to nervism. He regarded the body as an integral system and disease a result of the un-favorable influence of the environment. He believed that it was necessary to treat not the disease but the patient. He studied the symptomatics of a number of diseases of the heart and lungs and elaborated their differential diagnosis and classification. He attached great significance to anamnesis in diagnostics. Zakhar’in was one of the first to classify the therapeutic action of mineral waters, giving them a scientific basis. He assigned a major role in treatment to a rational diet and attributed great significance to the physician’s experience and to empirical elements in understanding the course of a disease and in its successful treatment.

Zakhar’in gained particular repute in the art of diagnosis and treatment. He discovered that in diseases of the viscera, certain sections of the skin are subject to hyperesthesia of the surface nerves (Zakhar’in-Head zones). In 1866 he set up separate hospital wards for children and gynecological patients, thus laying the basis for differentiation of clinics. He was one of the founders of school hygiene programs, highly valuing hygienic principles in the prophylaxis of widely distributed diseases. He took an active part in the reform of medical education in Russia. He created an important Moscow medical school, among whose representatives were N. F. Filatov, V. F. Snegirev, A. A. Ostroumov, and A. Ia. Kozhevnikov.

At the end of his life, Zakhar’in’s conservative social and political views isolated him from progressive scientists and students, and he left Moscow University in 1896.


Klinicheskie lektsii, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1895.
Klinicheskie lektsii i izbrannye stat’i. Moscow, 1909.


Gukasian, A. G.G. A. Zakhar’in, 1829–1897. Moscow, 1948. (Bibliography.)
Lushnikov, A. G.Klinika rniitrennikh boleznei v Rossii. Moscow, 1962.


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