Nadezhda Suslova

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Nadezhda Suslova
Nadezhda Suslova.jpg
Born (1843-09-01)1 September 1843[1]
Panino, Nizhny Novgorod guberniya
Died 20 April 1918(1918-04-20) (aged 74)
Education Kirov Military Medical Academy
University of Zurich
Relatives Friedrich Erismann (spouse, 1867–1915) [his death]
Medical career
Profession surgeon, obstetrician, gynecologist
This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs; the patronymic is Prokofyevna and the family name is Suslova.

Nadezhda Prokofyevna Suslova (Russian: Надежда Прокофьевна Суслова; 1 September 1843 – 20 April 1918) was Russia's first female physician and a sister of Polina Suslova.[2][3] She worked as a gynecologist in Nizhny Novgorod, and was involved in many charity efforts.[1]


Early life[edit]

Nadezhda was born in Panino village, Nizhny Novgorod guberniya.[3] Her father was the Sheremetevs's serf, but was able to succeed as a merchant and manufacturer. He decided to give a proper education to his daughters, Polina (a diminutive form of the given name Apollinaria) and Nadezhda. At home they had a governess, and a dancing teacher.[4] Later she entered Penichkau Boarding school in Moscow, where she learned several foreign languages. Like other young people at that time, Nadezhda was fond of reading, enjoyed the works of Nikolay Chernyshevsky and Dobrolyubov[1] and befriended revolutionary democrats. In 1859 the Suslov sisters moved to Saint Petersburg. In 1861 her short stories Rasskaz v pismah (Russian: Рассказ в письмах) and Fantazyorka (Russian: Фантазёрка) were published in Sovremennik. In the 1860s Nadezhda Suslova joined revolutionary organization Land and Liberty.


She was allowed by Sechenov and Botkin to attended classes at the Imperial Military Medical Academy.[1] Her first article Changes in skin sensations under the influence of electrical stimulation was published in Meditsinskiy Vestnik in 1862. In 1864, after women were officially banned from universities, she moved to Switzerland and graduated from the University of Zurich.[1][3] Suslova was the first Russian woman to be awarded a Doctor of Medicine degree (1867)[5] as a surgeon/obstetrician. In 1867 she married Friedrich Erismann and with him returned to Saint Petersburg, where she had to pass the exams again and defend her diploma for the second time.


  1. ^ a b c d e Osipov, G (1988). "The first Russian women physician Nadezhda Prokofyevna Suslova". Zhurnal Zdorovye. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Knapp, Liza (1998). Dostoevsky's The Idiot: a critical companion. Northwestern University Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-8101-1533-0. 
  3. ^ a b c (Russian) "Nadezhda Prokofyevna Suslova". Deyateli revolyutsionnogo dvizheniya v Rossii: Bibliographic Dictionary. Izd-vo Vsesoyuznogo obshestva politicheskih katorzhan i ssylno-poselentsev. 1927–1934. 
  4. ^ Nevskaya, Elena (February 2003). "Sense and sensibility". Vokrug sveta (in Russian) 40 (2). ISSN 0321-0669. 
  5. ^ Zhuk, Sergei (Winter 2001). "Science, Women and Revolution in Russia". Bulletin of the History of Medicine 75 (4): 802–803. doi:10.1353/bhm.2001.0204. ISSN 0007-5140.