His father was a rich merchant selling tea; his brother was a writer; while Sergey Petrovich is honored together with Zakhariev among the founders of the Russian scientific medicine. Botkin was one of the first to understand that man is a whole, and a disease does not affect a single organ, but affects the entire body through the nervous system. And only knowing this, you can treat the patient properly.
Doctor Botkin became the first Russian court physician – before him, the Russian tsars entrusted their treatment to foreigners only. He directed to build hospitals and improve the sanitary conditions in the cities, open a clinical and experimental laboratory. Botkin examined jaundice and revealed its contagious nature, which was named Botkin’s disease in honor of his works. Among the medical jokes are Botkin’s famous pieces of advice — he recommended that the woman who was interested in weight loss exercises should turn head from right to left and from left to right, the moment she is offered a meal. He advised a bachelor also anxious about his weight to eat a ruble worth meal a day and earn this ruble himself. Botkin’s sons followed in their father’s footsteps: Yevgeny Sergeyevich Botkin was a court physician for the family of Nicholas II and fulfilled the Hippocratic oath until his end – until his execution in the basement of the Ipatiev House.