The Problems of Foreign Pharmacists' Integration into Russian Medical Practice in the XVI-XVIIth Centuries

  1. Lemma
  2. Проблемы интеграции иностранных аптекарей в отечественную медицинскую практику XVI-XVII вв
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine
  6. 22-07-2018
  7. Сергеева, Мария Сергеевна [Author]. Проблемы интеграции иностранных аптекарей в отечественную медицинскую практику XVI-XVII вв
  8. Известия Алтайского государственного университета
  9. Russian Orthodox Church - Russian Empire - medicine - traditional medicine - pharmacy - monasticism - doctor
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    1. <p>Сергеева Мария Сергеевна (2015). Проблемы интеграции иностранных аптекарей в отечественную медицинскую практику XVI-XVII вв. <em>Известия Алтайского государственного университета</em>, 1 (4 (88)), 222-230.</p>
    1. The article studies the influence of the Russian political, social, economic, judicial and religious impacts on Western European medical representatives in Russia in the 16th-17th centuries. The author states that before the 16th century, medical practice in Russia was developed either in monasteries, or as “popular” or “craft” medicine. However, for the Church, medicine was on the periphery of its interests. Medical care was interpreted primarily through the lens of observance of Orthodox Christian principles in solving specific everyday situations. The state did not seem to pay much attention to the issue of medical care either. This does not mean that medical practice was not developed in medieval Russia: on the contrary, historical sources demonstrate that medical services were provided by doctors-specialists who at the same time carried out the functions of pharmacists.

      The first European doctors appear in Russia in the second half of the 15th century. These doctors were invited by Russian authorities and were to serve the tsar and the court. European medical practice was different from the Russian one: the professions of doctor and pharmacist were strictly divided. This practice appeared to surprise even the Russian tsars of the time. The possibility of private practice of foreign doctors and pharmacists during this period was, however, impossible: they were to work only for the tsar and the court. As a result, in 16th-17th century Russia, foreign doctors and pharmacists found themselves isolated.

      Nevertheless this period was also accompanied by the formation of central and local government systems (i.e. the centralisation of the Russian state) as well as fiscal, monetary and military reforms, influenced by European standards. These reforms became the prerequisites for government interest toward medical care. The appearance of the "apothecary rank" in the 16th century demonstrates the integration of the foreign-run pharmaceutical business into the Russian administrative and economic system. Moreover, this fact indicates that the government had begun a purposeful policy of integrating foreigners into the social structure of Russian society.

      By the end of the 17th century, medical and pharmaceutical services were provided by the state to the military and populations of bigger cities and towns. This does not mean that the practice of monastic medicine and the control of the activities of Russian doctors by the Church were no longer present. In fact, monastic and secular health care systems existed in parallel.