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.

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 1 Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud
Famous As: Neurologist
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.

 2 Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur
Famous As: Chemist and Microbiologist
Birthdate: December 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dole, Jura, Franche-Comté, 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.  

 3 Carl Jung

Carl Jung
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: July 26, 1875
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kesswil, Thurgau, 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.

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 4 Alexander Fleming

Alexander Fleming
Famous As: Biologist, Pharmacologist, Discovered Penicillin
Birthdate: August 6, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lochfield, Ayrshire, Scotland
Died: March 11, 1955

Alexander Fleming was a Scottish microbiologist and physician. He is credited with discovering penicillin, the world's first effective antibiotic substance; a discovery that changed the course of history. He also discovered lysozyme, an antimicrobial enzyme which forms part of the innate immune system. In 1999, Fleming was named in Time magazine's 100 Most Important People of the 20th century list.

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 5 Robert Koch

Robert Koch
Famous As: Physician
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.

 6 Ignaz Semmelweis

Ignaz Semmelweis
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: July 1, 1818
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Buda
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.

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 7 Elizabeth Blackwell

Elizabeth Blackwell
Famous As: First Woman Medical Graduate
Birthdate: February 3, 1821
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bristol
Died: May 31, 1910
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 8 Joseph Lister

Joseph Lister
Famous As: Surgeon and Scientist
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.

 9 Paul Ehrlich

Paul Ehrlich
Famous As: Scientist
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.

 10 Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal
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 John Snow

John Snow
Famous As: Physician
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.

 12 William Osler

William Osler
Famous As: Physician
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.

 13 Ivan Pavlov

Ivan Pavlov
Famous As: Physiologist
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.

 14 Frederick Banting

Frederick Banting
Famous As: Discoverer of Insulin
Birthdate: November 14, 1891
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Alliston, Ontario, Canada
Died: February 21, 1941

Frederick Banting was a Canadian medical scientist and physician. In 1923, Banting and Scottish biochemist John James Rickard Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of insulin and its therapeutic potential. Aged 32 at that time, Banting remains the youngest Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine. He was knighted by King George V in 1934.

 15 Jean-Martin Charcot

Jean-Martin Charcot
Famous As: Neurologist
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.

 16 John Harvey Kellogg

John Harvey Kellogg
Famous As: Doctor, Inventor
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.

 17 Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer
Famous As: Theologian, Polymath
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.

 18 Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler
Birthdate: February 7, 1870
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus
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.

 19 Georgios Papanikolaou

Georgios Papanikolaou
Famous As: Physician, Oncologist
Birthdate: May 13, 1883
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kymi
Died: February 19, 1962

 20 Rudolf Virchow

Rudolf Virchow
Famous As: Anthropologist, Pathologist
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.

 21 Robert Liston

Robert Liston
Famous As: Surgeon
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.

 22 Harvey Cushing

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

 23 J. Marion Sims

J. Marion Sims
Famous As: Surgeon
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.

 24 Emil Kraepelin

Emil Kraepelin
Famous As: Psychiatrist
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.

 25 Anandi Gopal Joshi

Anandi Gopal Joshi
Famous As: First Indian Female Doctor
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.

 26 Mary Edwards Walker

Mary Edwards Walker
Famous As: Surgeon, Feminist, Activist
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 Janusz Korczak

Janusz Korczak
Famous As: Educationist, Pediatrician, Children's writer
Birthdate: July 22, 1878
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Warsaw
Died: August 5, 1942

 28 Henry Gray

Henry Gray
Famous As: Anatomist and surgeon
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.

 29 Karen Horney

Karen Horney
Famous As: Psychoanalyst
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.

 30 Otto Heinrich Warburg

Otto Heinrich Warburg
Famous As: Physiologist & Physician
Birthdate: October 8, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Freiburg, Baden, German Empire
Died: August 1, 1970

Otto Heinrich Warburg was a German medical doctor and physiologist. In 1931, his discovery of the nature of the respiratory enzyme earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He also played an important role during World War I where he served as an officer in the cavalry regiment; he was honored with the Iron Cross for bravery.

 31 William Stewart Halsted

William Stewart Halsted
Famous As: Surgeon
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.

 32 Hermann von Helmholtz

Hermann von Helmholtz
Famous As: Physicist and Physician
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.

 33 Alois Alzheimer

Alois Alzheimer
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Neuropathologist
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.

 34 Samuel Mudd

Samuel Mudd
Famous As: Physician, Farmer, Politician
Birthdate: December 20, 1833
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Charles County
Died: January 10, 1883

 35 Samuel Hahnemann

Samuel Hahnemann
Famous As: Founder of Homeopathy
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.

 36 Theodor Morell

Theodor Morell
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: July 22, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Trais
Died: May 26, 1948

Popular with German elite for his unconventional treatment, Theodor Gilbert Morell came in contact with Adolf Hitler through Heinrich Hoffmann. Soon appointed the Chancellor’s personal physician, Morell remained with him for the last nine years of his life, helping him in his every day routine, receiving lucrative business contracts in return. Although arrested after the war, he was never convicted.  

 37 Ronald Ross

Ronald Ross
Famous As: Medical doctor
Birthdate: May 13, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Almora
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.

 38 John Bodkin Adams

John Bodkin Adams
Famous As: Physician, Serial killer
Birthdate: January 21, 1899
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Randalstown
Died: July 4, 1983

Not many suspected physician John Bodkin Adams of being a serial killer till it was revealed that his name had appeared in the wills of at least 132 of his patients who had died, while 163 died in coma. Though never convicted of the killings, he faced punishment for forgery.

 39 Wilder Penfield

Wilder Penfield
Famous As: Surgeon, Neuroscientist, Neurosurgeon, University teacher, Neurologist
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.

 40 Norman Bethune

Norman Bethune
Famous As: Physician
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.

 41 Andrew Taylor Still

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

 42 Walter Reed

Walter Reed
Famous As: Military physician, Zoologist, Entomologist
Birthdate: September 13, 1851
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Belroi
Died: November 22, 1902

 43 A. J. Cronin

A. J. Cronin
Famous As: Physician
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.

 44 Eduard Bloch

Eduard Bloch
Famous As: Physician
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.

 45 Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Santiago Ramón y Cajal
Famous As: Father of Modern Neuroscience
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.

 46 Hans Christian Gram

Hans Christian Gram
Famous As: Physician, Bacteriologist, University teacher, Scientist
Birthdate: September 13, 1853
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Copenhagen
Died: November 15, 1938

 47 John McCrae

John McCrae
Famous As: Poet
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.

 48 Franz Mesmer

Franz Mesmer
Famous As: Doctor
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.

 49 Daniel Hale Williams

Daniel Hale Williams
Famous As: Surgeon
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. 

 50 Walter Jackson Freeman II

Walter Jackson Freeman II
Famous As: American physician
Birthdate: November 14, 1895
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 31, 1972

American neurologist Walter Jackson Freeman II is remembered for co-developing the technique of prefrontal lobotomy as a treatment for mental ailments, along with neurosurgeon James W. Watts. Though many of his patients died due to the treatment, he is still considered a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery.