If we ask the participants of TV game show Hundred to One to recall the most popular Russian physician, I am sure that Sklifosovsky will be one of the answer variants. It is impossible to wipe from the memory such phrases as “Cut to the chase, Sklifosovsky!” from Caucasian Prisoner by Gayday or “Having run into dump truck I found myself at Sklifosovsky’s” from the song by Vysotsky. However, few peoplecan say what this physician is famous for, in spite of his popularity.
The family legend says that Nikolay Sklifosovsky’s grandfather was a Greek Sklifos or Asklifos by name. The latter sounds similar to Asclepius, so medical career was predestined for Nikolay. The medical profession was chosen without any hesitation – only surgery. Sklifosovsky worked as zemsky doctor for many years, traveled abroad on scientific business trips several times, took part in numerous wars having treated over 10,000 wounded soldiers and officers. After the defense of Shipka Pass, Doctor Sklifosovsky returned to Moscow to take up the positions of professor at the Moscow University and CMO at a surgical clinic. Soon, the clinic became one of the best medical institutions in Europe. Sklifosovsky was one of the first in Europe to introduce hot treatment of instruments and linen, which resulted in almost total absence of postoperative complications and infections. Many nasty diseases that the majority of medical specialists considered incurable started being successfully treated thanks to Sklifosovsky. Besides, we owe to Nikolay Sklifosovsky the foundation of Russian Physicians Society and the system of regular professional development for medical practitioners – the thing that we now call the Institute for Advanced Medical Education.