Famous Austrian Physicians

If you thought that Austria has only given the world musical marvels like Haydn, Schubert, Mozart, Liszt, and J. Strauss, know that this European country has been home to some equally extraordinary, phenomenal, and world-class physicians too, whose perseverance, healing touch, innovation and compassion radicalized the world of medicine like nothing else. They are pioneers, teachers, researchers, healers, and inventors whose contributions to health and medicine are not only gargantuan, but hugely inspiring too. Where would the world be today without their path-breaking contribution to health science? Medicine and the world in general, would be forever be indebted to the sheer medical ingeniousness and accomplishments of top-notch Austrian physicians like Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Beiglböck, Karl Stoerk, Hugo Jury, and Friedrich Kraus, who rewrote the course of medical history. Had it not been for their sheer passion and conviction, medical science would not be what it is today? Let us explore the timelines, life stories and interesting trivia & facts related to the lives of these famous Austrian physicians in the biographies below who worked their way to the top and are fondly remembered as medical wonders of their time.

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 Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: March 26, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria
Died: September 2, 1997

Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl founded logotherapy. He also authored several books, most notably his bestselling autobiographical depiction of his ordeal at various Nazi concentration camps, Man's Search for Meaning. He had lost his parents, brother, and wife in the Holocaust. He later won honors such as the Oskar Pfister Award.

 3 Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler
Famous As: Psychotherapist
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.

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 4 Hans Asperger

Hans Asperger
Famous As: Paediatrician
Birthdate: February 18, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: October 21, 1980
Hans Asperger, who lent his name to Asperger’s syndrome, is remembered as a pioneer in autism research and was earlier believed to have saved children with disabilities from being killed by the Nazis. However, later evidence suggested he had sent two mentally disabled children for experiments under the Third Reich.
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 5 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.

 6 Bruno Bettelheim

Bruno Bettelheim
Famous As: Writer, Psychologist, University teacher, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: August 28, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: March 13, 1990
Austrian-American psychologist Bruno Bettelheim is remembered for his work on child psychiatry and autism. While he initially looked after his family’s lumber business, he was later imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps, before escaping to the U.S. Following his suicide, it was revealed that he had faked his academic credentials.

 7 Hans Selye

Hans Selye
Famous As: Endocrinologist
Birthdate: January 26, 1907
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 16, 1982
Born to a doctor father, Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye grew up to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 17 times but never won it. He is remembered for his ground-breaking work the medical impact of stress on the human body, also known as stress response.
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 8 Josef Breuer

Josef Breuer
Famous As: Physician, Psychologist, University teacher, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: January 15, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: June 20, 1925

Psychoanalyst and physician Josef Breuer inspired what later came to be known as Sigmund Freud’s cathartic method to treat mental ailments. His experiments with his patient Anna O. proved the therapeutic effect of the talking cure. He had also conducted research on the respiratory cycle and discovered the Hering-Breuer reflex.

 9 Richard von Krafft-Ebing

Richard von Krafft-Ebing
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: August 14, 1840
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mannheim, Germany
Died: December 22, 1902

Known for his ground-breaking research on sexual psychopathology, German psychologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing worked on varied subjects such as sexual aberration and hypnosis. His Psychopathia Sexualis was one of the first written works that discussed LGBT sex and also spoke about taboo topics such as sadism, necrophilia, and masochism.

 10 Irmfried Eberl

Irmfried Eberl
Famous As: Physician, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: September 8, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bregenz
Died: February 16, 1948

Best known for leading the mass killing of Jews at the Treblinka extermination camp, psychiatrist Irmfried Eberl was eventually dismissed from his post because of his inefficiency in disposing of the bodies and thus causing a cremation backlog. Following the war, he hanged himself before being tried for his crimes.

 11 Otto F. Kernberg

Otto F. Kernberg
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Psychanalyst, University teacher, Non-fiction writer, Psychologist
Birthdate: September 10, 1928
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna

After fleeing to Chile with his family during the Nazi regime, Otto F. Kernberg studied medicine and then psychiatry. He eventually moved to the U.S. on a Rockefeller fellowship and grew up to be one of the finest psychoanalysts of the country. He now teaches at the Weill Cornell Medicine.

 12 Pamela Rendi-Wagner

Pamela Rendi-Wagner
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 7, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

The daughter of prominent social psychologist Wolfgang Wagner, Pamela Rendi-Wagner is a renowned physician who specializes in tropical medicine and infectious diseases. She created history as the first women to chair the Social Democratic Party. She has also led the public health department of the Austrian government.

 13 Otto Gross

Otto Gross
Famous As: Psychiatrist, Psychanalyst, Physician
Birthdate: March 17, 1877
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gniebing-Weißenbach
Died: February 13, 1920

Born to renowned criminologist Hans Gross, Otto Gross initially worked with his father but later deviated to depth psychology. It is believed, he was a liberal drug user and an advocate of polyamory. He apparently allowed his wife to have sexual relationships with other men, often participating as an observer.

 14 Julius Wagner-Jauregg

Julius Wagner-Jauregg
Famous As: Physician, Politician, Neurologist, Psychiatrist, Professor
Birthdate: March 7, 1857
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wels
Died: September 27, 1940

Nobel Prize-winning Austrian psychiatrist Julius Wagner-Jauregg is best known for revolutionizing medical science by partially treating general paresis through artificial induction of malaria. He paved the path for shock therapy and fever therapy to treat mental ailments. He also studied thyroid and ovarian issues. He later became a Nazi sympathizer.

 15 Jacob L. Moreno

Jacob L. Moreno
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: May 18, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bucharest
Died: May 14, 1974

Romanian-American psychiatrist Jacob L. Moreno is best remembered for introducing the concept of psychodrama, consisting of role-play exercises and dramatizations by patients, as a therapeutic method to cure mental ailments. He also pioneered group psychotherapy, introduced the study of social networks, and coined the terms sociometry and sociatry.

 16 Theodor Billroth

Theodor Billroth
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: April 26, 1829
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bergen auf Rügen, Germany
Died: February 6, 1894

Born to a pastor father in Prussia, Theodor Billroth was pushed to study medicine by his mother. Initially undecided over his career, he devoted most of his first university year to music. Later, he gained fame as a pioneer of abdominal surgery and also examined how bacteria causes wound fever.

 17 Aribert Heim

Aribert Heim
Famous As: Austrian Schutzstaffel (SS) doctor. During World War II
Birthdate: June 28, 1914
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bad Radkersburg, Austria
Died: August 10, 1992

Known as Dr. Death and the Butcher of Mauthausen, Nazi doctor Aribert Heim terrorized the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp with his deadly experiments and gruesome methods of torture. He apparently injected poison into the inmates and often removed organs leaving the inmates to die. He escaped prosecution and moved to Egypt.

 18 Rudolf Dreikurs

Rudolf Dreikurs
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: February 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 25, 1972

Austrian psychiatrist Rudolf Dreikurs was influenced by Alfred Adler’s individual psychology and used it to understand children’s behavior. He suggested that children misbehave if they feel they don’t belong to their social group, such as a classroom. He later established the Alfred Adler Institutes in the U.S. and Israel.

 19 Peter Safar

Peter Safar
Famous As: Anesthesiologist
Birthdate: April 12, 1924
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 2, 2003

 20 Georg Joachim Rheticus

Georg Joachim Rheticus
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: February 16, 1514
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Feldkirch, Austria
Died: December 4, 1574

Having lost his doctor father to an execution after he was charged with stealing from his patients, Georg Joachim Rheticus ditched his paternal surname. The Austrian-born mathematician is best remembered for his tables of trigonometric functions. He was also one of the first to propagate the Copernican heliocentric theory.

 21 Constantin von Economo

Constantin von Economo
Famous As: Former psychiatrist, neurologist known for his discovery of encephalitis lethargica and his atlas of cytoarchitectonics of the cerebral cortex
Birthdate: August 21, 1876
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brăila, Romania
Died: October 21, 1931

 22 Fritz Pregl

Fritz Pregl
Famous As: Chemist, Physician known for Microelemental analysis
Birthdate: September 3, 1869
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Died: December 13, 1930

 23 Clemens von Pirquet

Clemens von Pirquet
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: May 12, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 28, 1929

 24 Róbert Bárány

Róbert Bárány
Famous As: Otologist
Birthdate: April 22, 1876
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 8, 1936

 25 Bénédict Morel

Bénédict Morel
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: November 22, 1809
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: March 30, 1873

Bénédict Morel was a French psychiatrist born in Austria. He was abandoned by his parents and had a difficult childhood. He worked hard to earn a medical doctorate and worked alongside psychiatrist Jean-Pierre Falret. He soon became an influential psychiatrist himself and was a key figure in the field of degeneration theory in the mid-19th century. 

 26 Karl Koller

Karl Koller
Famous As: Ophthalmologist
Birthdate: December 3, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bohemia, Czech Republic
Died: March 21, 1944

 27 Leopold Auenbrugger

Leopold Auenbrugger
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: November 19, 1722
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: May 17, 1809

 28 Max Schur

Max Schur
Famous As: Physician and friend of Sigmund Freud
Birthdate: September 26, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine
Died: October 12, 1969

 29 Gunther Philipp

Gunther Philipp
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Maroshévíz , Austria-Hungary
Died: October 2, 2003

 30 Anton Eiselsberg

Anton Eiselsberg
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: July 31, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Steinhaus, Austria
Died: October 25, 1939

 31 Fred Nadel

Fred Nadel
Famous As: Anthropologist
Birthdate: April 24, 1903
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: January 14, 1956
Austrian-born British anthropologist Fred Nadel specialising in African ethnology. Before turning to anthropology, Nadel toured with his own opera company and wrote a biography of the Italian composer Ferruccio Benvenuto Busoni. He served as a lecturer at the London School of Economics and then in 1948 became the head of the anthropology department at the University of Durham.

 32 Karl Schönherr

Karl Schönherr
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 24, 1867
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Axams, Austria
Died: March 15, 1943

Born to a schoolteacher, Karl Schönherr initially studied philosophy and grew up to become a physician. However, he later gained fame for his iconic plays such as Faith and Homeland and The Judas of the Tirol. He was inspired by Henrik Ibsen and merged symbolism and realism in his works.