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JOURNAL ARTICLE

[125 years' of the Serbian Medical Society]

V Sulović, B Pavlović
Srpski Arhiv za Celokupno Lekarstvo 1998, 126 (9): 402-7
9863416
In the second half of the last century and under the influence of the European civilization, Serbia abandoned the conservative and patriarchal way of life and began to introduce a new, contemporary political, cultural and social spirit into the country. The development of these civilizing features was under the influence of young intelectuals who, as former scholarship holders of the Serbian government, were educated in many European countries. Among them, there was a group of physicians who returned to the country after having completed their education. They were carriers and holders of the contemporary medical science in Serbia and the neighbouring areas. On April 22, 1872 a group of 15 physicians founded the Serbian Medical Society with the intention to offer an organized medical help and care to the population. The first president was Dr. Aćim Medović and the first secretary Dr. Vladan Dordević. At the meeting held on May 15, 1872 the text of the Statute of the Society was accepted and immediately submitted for approval to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In the letter addressed to the minister of internal affairs the following reasons were cited: "... The Belgrade physicians feeling a need for having the main office for their professional and scientific meetings, for which they will find the opportunity and the funds, and in spite of their hard medical labor which requires almost all their time, decided to establish the Serbian Medical Society because they wish to be in trend and follow-up the medical progress and exchange the latest medical information not only among them but also with other graduated doctors living in areas with the Serblan population as well as with all scientists who are willing to contribute to the development of medical science in Serbia...". In the first year of its existence the Serbian Medical Society had 9 regular members, 1 honorary member and 34 corresponding members from Serbia, Slavic and other foreign countries. On August 5, 1872 it was decided to start the publication of a professional journal "Srpski arhiv za celokupno lekarstvo" (Serbian Archives of General Medicine). The journal has still been edited. On suggestion of the Serbian Medical Society the Law of Health Care was promulgated in 1881. It was translated into German and French languages and sent to about 400 addresses in different European countries with the request for their opinion and suggestion. The reply of the Vienna Medical Society was as follows: "... While the Austrians carry out some stupid regulations of health care, at the same time a small Balkan country, Serbia promulgated a Law according to which no one, including the King, the Government or a political party dare not use a cent intended for health service, treatment of the sick people and payment of physicians...". On the occasion of the centenary of the First Serbian insurrection and coronation ceremonies of the King Petar I Karadjordjević, and under the King's patronage, the First Congress of Serbian physicians and naturalists was organized from 5 to 7 September 1904. There were 433 participants of whom more than 100 foreign participants. A Serbian professor of infectious diseases at the University School of Medicine in Vienna, Dr. Jovan Cokor, presented a paper with results of his studies of tuberculosis according to which tuberculosis could be transmitted from a sick cow to man; in this way he complemented the results and explanations of Dr. Robert Koch who discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In 1907 the Serbian Medical Society organized in Belgrade the First meeting of Yugoslav surgeons. At that time, the foundation of a University school of medicine was planned. The Serbian Red Cross Organization was initiated by the Serbian Medical Society in 1876. On February 2, 1891 a procedure was brought for the establishment of the Medical Chamber. Its activity began in 1901. During the First and Second world wars the activity of the Serbian Medical Society was di

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