[Founding and activity of the Society of Physicians of the Kingdom of Croatia and Slovenia as reported in the newspapers from 1874 to 1875]

Biserka Belicza, Tatjana Buklijas
Lijec̆nic̆ki Vjesnik 2002, 124 (1): 42-9
The article presents the first active year of the Association of Physicians of the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia, today's Croatian Medical Association, (from February 26, 1874 until the annual assembly held on June 31, 1875), based upon the articles published in Zagreb daily newspapers Obzor and Narodne novine and a Zadar newspaper--Narodni list. The writings of these newspapers are situated in the spatial and temporal context based on data from secondary literature and Austrian daily newspapers. These articles were employed as historical sources, which we used to find answers to following questions: How did the Croatian public accept the foundation of the Association of Physicians of the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia? What did the public expect and what duties was this Association to fulfill according to the public? Finally, how did the public evaluate the results of the Association's work at the end of its first year of existence? The foundation of the Association of Physicians of the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia coincided with numerous initiatives on the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy level. Goal of these initiatives was to create a well ramified network of physicians' organisations that were to deal with issues related to the social status of physicians, such as fees for their professional services, retirement funds, pensions for family members etc. The first official "Rules of the Association of Physicians of the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia" from May 1874, puts promotion of scientific medicine and health improvement before the interests of the medical profession status. Croatian public expected that the newly founded Association would engage itself in matters such as improving medical practice, eradicating diseases, promoting foundation of a medical school in Zagreb, counselling political bodies on the health-related issues, and so on. Based on the newspaper articles, especially ones published at the end of the first year of the Associations' existence we can clearly notice discordance between public expectations and declared reasons.

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