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[The history of the Autopsy Department of the Berlin Charité hospital. 1. Founding of the Autopsy Department and Philipp Phoebus as the first prosector].

Authors
  • Krietsch, P
Type
Published Article
Journal
Zentralblatt für allgemeine Pathologie u. pathologische Anatomie
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1990
Volume
136
Issue
4
Pages
377–387
Identifiers
PMID: 2205993
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The opening of the Prosector's Department at the Charité of Berlin and appointment of its first Prosector are reported in this paper. The scientific need for getting clinical postmortem investigations performed by full-fledged anatomists or for having them at least anatomically supervised and pressures resulting from Europe's first cholera outbreak, approaching Berlin about 1830, had been the principal motivations behind the initiative. On May 8, 1831, Dr. Philipp Phoebus was appointed the first Prosector of the Charité of Berlin. The position had been offered as a part-time job. Most aspects relating to the post had not been clearly defined by that date, for example, the rights and duties of a Prosector, his integration with the general pattern of Charité services, and his subordination to the local hospital committee. Phoebus made an unsuccessful attempt to define and thus secure the Prosector's position by means of a self-drafted policy paper. Misunderstandings on end and strained relations with the clinicians on the spot prompted him to quit service after 16 months. An account is given of his short but successful time at Charité, with reference being also made of the specific reason for his resignation. An outline is subsequently presented of Phoebus' further life and work, including scientific careers in Berlin, Stolberg/Harz, and at Giessen University where he held a professorship in pharmacology.

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