19th Century Physicians

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Physicians, including H. H. Holmes, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Jose Rizal and Jean Piaget.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century Physicians

 1 
Louis Pasteur
(Chemist and Microbiologist)

Louis Pasteur
4
Birthdate: December 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dole, France
Died: September 28, 1895
Considered one of the founders of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and rabies, and invented the process of heating food and wine to kill microbes that cause contamination, which was named pasteurization after him. Known as the “father of microbiology,” he also founded the Pasteur Institute in Paris.  

 2 
Carl Jung
(Psychiatrist)

Carl Jung
8
Birthdate: July 26, 1875
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kesswil, Switzerland
Died: June 6, 1961

Widely regarded as the father of analytical psychology, Carl Jung is one of the most important contributors to symbolization and dream analysis. The concepts of socionics and a popular psychometric instrument called Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) were developed from Jung's theory. Apart from working as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Carl Jung was also an artist, craftsman, builder, and prolific writer.

 3 
Robert Koch
(Physician)

Robert Koch
4
Birthdate: December 11, 1843
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
Died: May 27, 1910

Robert Koch was a German microbiologist and physician. One of the prominent co-founders of modern bacteriology, Koch is credited with creating and improving laboratory techniques and technologies in the field of microbiology. He is also credited with making important discoveries in public health. In 1905, Robert Koch won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on tuberculosis.

Recommended Lists:

 4 
Elizabeth Blackwell
(First Woman Medical Graduate)

Elizabeth Blackwell
4
Birthdate: February 3, 1821
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bristol
Died: May 31, 1910
Recommended Lists:

 5 
John Snow
(Physician)

John Snow
4
Birthdate: March 15, 1813
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: York, United Kingdom
Died: June 16, 1858

Best known as the father of modern epidemiology, British doctor John Snow revolutionized medical science with his study of London’s Broad Street cholera outbreak of 1854. His research contributed to the development of London’s sewage and water systems and led to the reduction in cholera cases.

 6 
Joseph Lister
(British Medical Scientist and a Pioneer in the Field of Antiseptic Medicine and Surgery)

Joseph Lister
4
Birthdate: April 5, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Upton House, West Ham, England
Died: February 10, 1912

British surgeon Joseph Lister was a pioneer of antiseptic medicine usage and made a huge contribution to the development of preventive medicine for bacterial infection. His achievements have been honored by many, such as the makers of Listerine antiseptic and mouthwash, who named their product after him.

Recommended Lists:

 7 
Sigmund Freud
(Neurologist & the Founder of Psychoanalysis)

Sigmund Freud
9
Birthdate: May 6, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Příbor, Czechia
Died: September 23, 1939

Regarded as the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud was a neurologist. Despite suffering criticism, psychoanalysis remains influential in the fields of psychology and psychiatry; such is the influence Freud has on humanities. Scholars believe that Freud is one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century and that his impact is comparable to that of Marxism and Darwinism.

You May Like

 8 
Paul Ehrlich
(Scientist)

Paul Ehrlich
4
Birthdate: March 14, 1854
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Strzelin, Poland
Died: August 20, 1915

German scientist Paul Ehrlich is remembered for his contribution to immunology, which also won him a Nobel Prize. Known as the pioneer of chemotherapy, he also discovered the first-known treatment of syphilis. Born into a business family, he was introduced to the method of studying cells by his pathologist uncle.

 9 
William Osler
(Physician)

William Osler
4
Birthdate: July 12, 1849
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bradford West Gwillimbury, Canada
Died: December 29, 1919

Johns Hopkins Hospital co-founder William Osler was also an avid historian. He redefined medical education with his emphasis on clinical experience and his book The Principles and Practice of Medicine. Born to a missionary father in Canada, he was to follow in his father’s footsteps but decided to study medicine instead.

Jose Rizal
7
Birthdate: June 19, 1861
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Calamba, Laguna
Died: December 30, 1896

Jose Rizal was a Filipino polymath and nationalist. An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal turned towards writing and inspired the Philippine Revolution through his writings. The revolution eventually led to Philippine independence and Rizal became a national hero. His life has inspired several biographical films and TV series.

 11 
Ivan Pavlov
(Physiologist)

Ivan Pavlov
4
Birthdate: September 26, 1849
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ryazan, Russia
Died: February 27, 1936
Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov is best remembered for his research in classical conditioning. He became the first Russian Nobel laureate after winning the 1904 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his study of the physiology of digestion. His experiment on conditioned reflex using dogs is still studied in colleges.

 12 
Jean-Martin Charcot
(Neurologist)

Jean-Martin Charcot
3
Birthdate: November 29, 1825
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris
Died: August 16, 1893
French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot is best remembered for his work with hysteria patients. He was also an extraordinary professor and had Sigmund Freud as one of his students. He was one of the first to include photos and drawings as tools for instruction in neurology classes.

 13 
David Livingstone
(Physician, Explorer)

David Livingstone
5
Birthdate: March 19, 1813
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: May 1, 1873

David Livingstone was a Scottish physician who played a major role at the London Missionary Society, where he was a pioneer Christian missionary. He is also remembered for his work as a missionary in Africa. Widely considered one of the most famous British heroes of the late Victorian era, Livingstone was mentioned in the 100 Greatest Britons list in 2002.

 14 
John Harvey Kellogg
(Doctor, Inventor)

John Harvey Kellogg
4
Birthdate: February 26, 1852
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tyrone Township, Michigan, United States
Died: December 14, 1943
Physician, nutritionist, and businessman John Harvey Kellogg served as the director of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, which was a combination of a European spa, a hydrotherapy center, a hospital, and a hotel. He believed in biologic living. However, he is best remembered as the inventor of corn flakes.

 15 
Georgios Papanikolaou
(Physician, Oncologist)

Georgios Papanikolaou
3
Birthdate: May 13, 1883
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kymi
Died: February 19, 1962

Georgios Papanikolaou was a Greek physician who was a pioneer in early cancer detection. He reported that uterine cancer cells could be detected in vaginal smears as early as 1928, but his work did not receive much attention until the 1940s. He invented the Papanicolaou test, commonly known as the Pap smear or Pap test for cervical screening.  

 16 
Albert Schweitzer
(Physician and Founder of the “Albert Schweitzer Hospital” in Lambaréné,)

Albert Schweitzer
4
Birthdate: January 14, 1875
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France
Died: September 4, 1965

Albert Schweitzer was an Alsatian polymath who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his philosophical work, Reverence for Life. He is credited with founding the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, which was a direct result of his philosophical expression. Schweitzer is also credited with influencing the Organ reform movement, which began in the mid-20th-century.

 17 
Alfred Adler
(Psychotherapist)

Alfred Adler
6
Birthdate: February 7, 1870
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus, Vienna, Austria
Died: May 28, 1937

Alfred Adler was an Austrian psychotherapist and medical doctor. He is credited with founding the school of individual psychology. He was also one of the founders of the psychoanalytic movement along with Sigmund Freud and Freud's colleagues. In 2002, a survey conducted by Review of General Psychology named Adler among the 20th century's most eminent psychologists.

 18 
Ignaz Semmelweis
(Physician)

Ignaz Semmelweis
4
Birthdate: July 1, 1818
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tabán, Budapest, Hungary
Died: August 13, 1865

Almost 2 decades before germ theory was laid down, Ignaz Semmelweis became the first physician to suggest that hand-washing could prevent the spread of puerperal fever and related deaths. Ironically, after being ridiculed for his theory, he died in a mental asylum, due to an infection from a wound.

 19 
Rudolf Virchow
(The Father of Modern Pathology' & the Founder of 'Social Medicine')

Rudolf Virchow
4
Birthdate: October 13, 1821
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Swidwin, Poland
Died: September 5, 1902

Rudolf Virchow was a German physician, pathologist, anthropologist, biologist, prehistorian, editor, writer, and politician. Nicknamed the Pope of medicine by his colleagues, Virchow is credited with founding the field of social medicine. He is also widely regarded as the father of modern pathology.  Rudolf Virchow was the first person to name diseases, such as thrombosis, leukemia, ochronosis, embolism, and chordoma.

 20 
Robert Liston
(Surgeon)

Robert Liston
4
Birthdate: October 28, 1794
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ecclesmachan, West Lothian, Scotland
Died: December 7, 1847

Scottish surgeon Robert Liston worked in an era when anesthesia wasn’t invented. He could complete amputations within minutes, thus saving the lives of many when the speed of the surgery made the difference between life and death. Later, he became the first European surgeon to operate under anesthesia.

 21 
Harvey Cushing
(Neurosurgeon)

Harvey Cushing
3
Birthdate: April 8, 1869
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: October 7, 1939

 22 

J. Marion Sims
4
Birthdate: January 25, 1813
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lancaster County, South Carolina, United States
Died: November 13, 1883

Known as The Father of Modern Gynaecology, J. Marion Sims is remembered for developing a surgical method to deal with vesicovaginal fistula, a childbirth-related complication. However, since his experiments were conducted on Black slave-women, without anesthesia, they were later deemed unethical. He had also headed the American Gynecological Society.

 23 
Emil Kraepelin
(Psychiatrist)

Emil Kraepelin
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1856
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Neustrelitz, Germany
Died: October 7, 1926

The son of a musician, Emil Kraepelin, remembered as the founder of psychiatry, was the first to differentiate between dementia praecox, now known as schizophrenia, and manic-depressive psychosis. His classification of mental illnesses influenced much of the research on the subject in the 20th century.

 24 
Janusz Korczak
(Former educator, children's author, pedagogue)

Janusz Korczak
4
Birthdate: July 22, 1878
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: August 7, 1942

A reputed Polish doctor, Henryk Goldszmit was better known by his pseudonym, Janusz Korczak, which he used to write several children’s books. Apart from working as a pediatrician and a military doctor, he also owned a Jewish orphanage and stayed with the children while the Germans deported him and other staff to Treblinka.

 25 
Henry Gray
(Anatomist and surgeon)

Henry Gray
3
Birthdate: 1827 AD
Birthplace: Belgravia
Died: June 13, 1861

Best known for his iconic medical textbook Gray's Anatomy, surgeon Henry Gray, who was a skilled anatomist, was made a Fellow of The Royal Society at the tender age of 25. His untimely death at 34 due to small pox, while treating his nephew, cheated him of an illustrious career.

 26 
Mary Edwards Walker
(Surgeon, Feminist, Activist)

Mary Edwards Walker
4
Birthdate: November 26, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oswego
Died: February 21, 1919

Mary Edwards Walker, or Dr. Mary Walker, was the only female surgeon who served injured soldiers during the American Civil War. A dress reform supporter, she believed women should value comfort more than tradition when it came to clothes. She was also the first and only Medal of Honor winner.

 27 
Karen Horney
(Psychoanalyst)

Karen Horney
4
Birthdate: September 16, 1885
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Blankenese, Hamburg, Germany
Died: December 4, 1952

Remembered for her pioneering work on feminist psychology, Karen Horney studied medicine at a time when women weren’t allowed in universities. Going against Sigmund Freud’s concept of penis envy, she suggested the idea of womb envy. She believed psychological differences weren’t rooted in gender but rather depended on the socio-cultural influences.

 28 
Samuel Mudd
(Physician, Farmer, Politician)

Samuel Mudd
4
Birthdate: December 20, 1833
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Charles County
Died: January 10, 1883

 29 
Wong Fei-hung
(Physician,Martial artist)

Wong Fei-hung
5
Birthdate: July 9, 1847
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Foshan, China
Died: April 17, 1925

Wong Fei-hung was a Chinese physician, martial artist, and folk hero. Wong is the subject of many television series and films. Between the 1940s and 1980s, Wong was portrayed by Hong Kong actor Kwan Tak-hing in over 70 films which earned Kwan the nickname Master Wong. Wong was also played by Jet Li in Once Upon a Time in China.

 30 
Alois Alzheimer
(Psychiatrist, Neuropathologist)

Alois Alzheimer
3
Birthdate: June 14, 1864
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Marktbreit
Died: December 19, 1915

German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer is noted for identifying the first published case of presenile dementia, which his colleague and German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin later identified as Alzheimer's disease.  Alois publicly discussed his findings on brain pathology and symptoms of presenile dementia in late-1906 and penned a larger paper giving details of the disease and his findings in 1907.

 31 
Hermann von Helmholtz
(Physicist and Physician)

Hermann von Helmholtz
3
Birthdate: August 31, 1821
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Potsdam
Died: September 8, 1894

A descendant of Pennsylvania founder William Penn through his mother, Hermann von Helmholtz studied medicine, pushed by his father, in spite of being interested in the natural sciences. Best known for his law of conservation of energy, he coalesced the fields of medicine, physiology, math, and physics in his studies.

William Stewart Halsted
3
Birthdate: September 23, 1852
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City
Died: September 7, 1922

William Stewart Halsted was the man behind the first American surgical school at the Johns Hopkins University. The master surgeon made a number of contributions to medical science, including the introduction of mastectomy and aseptic surgical procedures. He often injected cocaine into his body to develop anesthesia.

 33 
Samuel Hahnemann
(Founder of Homeopathy)

Samuel Hahnemann
3
Birthdate: April 10, 1755
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Meissen
Died: July 2, 1843

The founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann was a qualified physician but disapproved of medical practices such as bloodletting that were used back then. He thus formed his system of alternative medicine. The apathy of his fellow physicians in Leipzig forced him to move first to Köthen and then to Paris.

 34 
Ronald Ross
(Medical doctor)

Ronald Ross
3
Birthdate: May 13, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Almora, India
Died: September 16, 1932

Nobel Prize-winning British doctor Ronald Ross is best remembered for his pathbreaking work on malaria, which proved that the disease was caused by the Anopheles variant of mosquitoes. After his extensive research in India, he went back to London, where he was knighted. He also wrote poetry and songs.

 35 
Cesare Lombroso
(Criminologist, Phrenologist, Physician)

Cesare Lombroso
4
Birthdate: November 6, 1835
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: October 19, 1909

Cesare Lombroso was an Italian criminologist, phrenologist, and physician. He founded the Italian School of Positivist Criminology at the end of the 19th century. Initially an army surgeon, he later became a professor of forensic medicine and hygiene. His works drew from the concepts of physiognomy, degeneration theory, and psychiatry. Later in life, be became interested in spirituality.

 36 
Norman Bethune
(Physician)

Norman Bethune
3
Birthdate: March 4, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gravenhurst, Canada
Died: November 12, 1939

Canadian thoracic surgeon Norman Bethune served as an army physician for the Canadian Army during World War I. He revolutionized medical science by introducing the concept of mobile blood-transfusion. A Communist Party of Canada member, he later served the Chinese army against Japan, becoming a revered name in China.

 37 
Wilder Penfield
(Surgeon, Neuroscientist, Neurosurgeon, University teacher, Neurologist)

Wilder Penfield
4
Birthdate: January 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Spokane
Died: April 5, 1976

Neuroscientist Wilder Penfield redefined medical science with his innovative way of treating epilepsy patients through surgery. He would note down his patients’ responses when they would be conscious under local anesthesia. He also founded the Montreal Neurological Institute, but was unable to cure his sister’s brain cancer.

 38 
A. J. Cronin
(Physician)

A. J. Cronin
3
Birthdate: July 19, 1896
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cardross, Scotland
Died: January 6, 1981
A. J. Cronin was a Scottish novelist and physician best remembered for his 1937 novel The Citadel. The novel, which received the National Book Award in 1937, helped inspire the creation of the National Health Service. Many of his books, including The Citadel, have been adapted to films. His novella Country Doctor inspired a TV series titled Dr. Finlay's Casebook.

 39 
Anandi Gopal Joshi
(First Indian Female Doctor)

Anandi Gopal Joshi
4
Birthdate: March 31, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kalyan, Maharashtra, India
Died: February 26, 1887

Though she was married off at age 9 and had had a baby by 14, Anandi Gopal Joshi rose to become one of the first female doctors in India and the first Indian-origin woman to graduate with a medical degree in the US. Unfortunately, she died of tuberculosis shortly before her 22nd birthday.

 40 
Walter Reed
(Military physician, Zoologist, Entomologist)

Walter Reed
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1851
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Belroi
Died: November 22, 1902

 41 
Santiago Ramón y Cajal
(Father of Modern Neuroscience)

Santiago Ramón y Cajal
3
Birthdate: May 1, 1852
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Petilla de Aragón, Navarre, Spain
Died: October 18, 1934

While he apprenticed as a cobbler and a barber in childhood, Santiago Ramón y Cajal later took up medicine inspired by his father, a professor of anatomy. Cajal’s study of the microscopic structure of the human brain later formed the basis of neuroscience and earned him a Nobel Prize.

 42 

Andrew Taylor Still
3
Birthdate: August 6, 1828
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lee County
Died: December 12, 1917

 43 
Eduard Bloch
(Physician)

Eduard Bloch
3
Birthdate: January 30, 1872
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hluboká nad Vltavou
Died: June 1, 1945

Jewish doctor Eduard Bloch began his career as a physician for the Austrian Army. He had later treated a young Adolf Hitler and his cancer-stricken mother, charging very little fees owing to their poor financial condition. This act that made Hitler grant Bloch special protection during the Nazi attack on Austria.

 44 
Franz Mesmer
(Doctor)

Franz Mesmer
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1734
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Swabia, Germany
Died: March 5, 1815

Though a doctor, Franz Mesmer studied the influence of astronomical bodies on the human body and on an invisible fluid inside it. He was a pioneer of animal magnetism, or mesmerism, which paved the path for modern-day hypnotism. Critics slammed his ideas and called him a fraud, too.

 45 

Daniel Hale Williams
3
Birthdate: January 18, 1856
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 4, 1931

Daniel Hale Williams was a general surgeon known for performing the first documented, successful pericardium surgery in the US in 1893. Born to interracial parents, he faced numerous struggles in his journey to become a physician. He later founded the first non-segregated hospital in the United States, Chicago's Provident Hospital. He also founded a nursing school for African Americans. 

 46 
Hans Christian Gram
(Former bacteriologist noted for his development of the Gram stain)

Hans Christian Gram
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1853
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 14, 1938

Hans Christian Gram was a Danish bacteriologist best remembered for developing a technique called Gram stain, which is still used today to classify bacteria. He achieved international recognition after developing the Gram stain technique. Hans Christian Gram also served as a professor at the University of Copenhagen.

 47 
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
(Mayor of Aldeburgh)

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
3
Birthdate: June 9, 1836
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Whitechapel
Died: December 17, 1917

The first female doctor and surgeon of Britain, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was initially denied admission to medical schools because of her gender and had thus started studying privately. Soon after joining the Marylebone Dispensary as an attendant, she contributed to the formation of the New Hospital for Women.

 48 
John McCrae
(Poet and Soldier Best Known as the Author of War Memorial Poem 'In Flanders Fields')

John McCrae
4
Birthdate: November 30, 1872
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Died: January 28, 1918

Best known for his iconic war poems such as In Flanders Fields, Canadian poet John McCrae was also an army physician. He was the first Canadian to serve as a consulting surgeon for the British Army and had earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Army.

 49 
Helen B. Taussig
(Cardiologist)

Helen B. Taussig
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 20, 1986
Helen B. Taussig is remembered as the founder of pediatric cardiology. Born to a Harvard professor father and a mother who was a women’s education pioneer, she was denied a Harvard seat for being a woman and thus studied medicine at Johns Hopkins. She pioneered the cure of the blue baby syndrome.

 50 
Gustave Le Bon
(Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Psychologist, Philosopher, Historian, Sociologist)

Gustave Le Bon
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1841
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nogent-le-Rotrou
Died: December 13, 1931

French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon is best remembered for his research on crowd psychology. In his iconic work La psychologie des foules, or The Crowd, he stated that people are driven by their emotions and not by their intellect when they act as part of a crowd.