Famous Swiss Physicians

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Physicians are the true healers of mankind. They are responsible for good health and well-being of humans and thus are most respected or revered in the society. Medical practitioners or doctor as they are colloquially called, physicians are responsible for all the inventions and discoveries in the field of medicine. Such has been the vast expanse in the field that physicians today are categorized under their various specialities, such as cardiologists, neurologists, surgeons, radiologists, gynaecologists, and so on. Each country has produced some of the world’s most renowned physicians who have relentlessly contributed to the field through their research and findings. Switzerland has been the home of internationally famous physicians such as Felix Plater, who classified the psychiatric disease and also was the first to describe intracranial tumor. Had it not been for Alexandre Yersin, discovery of the bacillus responsible for the bubonic plague or pest wouldn’t have been possible! Not just men, Swiss women too played a quintessential role as physicians. Marie Heim Vogtlin was the first female Swiss physician, and also the co-founder of the first Swiss gynaecological hospital. Barbara Polla, a medical doctor, is a specialist in inner medicine, pneumology and immuno-allergology. Check this segment and find out more about famous Swiss physicians, their life, works and contributions.
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 1 
Carl Jung
(Swiss Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst and Founder of Analytical Psychology)
Carl Jung
9
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.

 2 
Paracelsus
(Physician, Botanist, Astrologer)
Paracelsus
5
Birthdate: December 17, 1493
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Einsiedeln, Switzerland
Died: September 24, 1541
German-Swiss physician and alchemist Paracelsus, son of a poor chemist, grew up into a key figure of the German Renaissance. Known as the "father of toxicology," he explored the importance of chemistry in medical science. His interest in chemistry was ignited by his stint at the Bergschule in childhood. 
 3 
Jean Piaget
(Swiss Psychologist Known for His Work on Child Development)
Jean Piaget
5
Birthdate: August 9, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died: September 16, 1980
Swiss psychologist and academic Jean Piaget is remembered for his work on child development and genetic epistemology, consisting of his theory of cognitive development. He also established the International Center for Genetic Epistemology and was the director of the International Bureau of Education. He was an honorary Harvard doctorate.
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 4 
Hermann Rorschach
(Swiss psychiatrist)
Hermann Rorschach
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1884
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zurich, Switzerland
Died: April 1, 1922

Remembered for inventing the inkblot test to uncover the hidden traits of a subject’s personality, known as the Rorschach test, Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach was born to an art teacher in Zürich and had thus wished to be an artist initially. His Rorschach test was later criticized for its subjectivity.

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 5 
Karl Jaspers
(One of the Most Important Representatives of Existential Philosophy)
Karl Jaspers
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1883
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oldenburg, Germany
Died: February 26, 1969

Twentieth-century Existentialist Karl Jaspers had initially followed in his father’s footsteps to study law, but had then switched to medicine. One of the pioneers of clinical psychiatry, he applied phenomenology to study mental illnesses and also developed psychopathological research. He was highly influenced by Immanuel Kant’s ideas.

 6 
Eugen Bleuler
(Psychiatrist, Physician, University teacher)
Eugen Bleuler
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1857
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Zollikon
Died: July 15, 1939
One of the most prolific psychiatrists of his time, Eugen Bleuler is known as the man who introduced the term schizophrenia. He also introduced autism and ambivalence as 2 concepts required for the study of schizophrenia. His Textbook of Psychiatry became a staple in classes of psychiatry
 7 
Bertrand Piccard
(Swiss psychiatrist)
Bertrand Piccard
3
Birthdate: March 1, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lausanne

Though a qualified psychiatrist and a lecturer of hypnosis, Bertrand Piccard is better known as an aviator. The son of oceanographer Jacques Piccard and the grandson of explorer Auguste Piccard, Bertrand completed the first solar-powered flight and the first non-stop balloon trip around the world.

 8 
Alexandre Yersin
(Discoverer of Yersinia Pestis)
Alexandre Yersin
3
Birthdate: September 22, 1863
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Aubonne, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland
Died: March 1, 1943

Alexandre Yersin was a physician and bacteriologist. He is credited with co-discovering Yersinia pestis, the bacillus that causes the bubonic plague. Also an agriculturist, Yersin pioneered the cultivation of rubber trees. He is revered by the Vietnamese people because of his association with Hanoi Medical University; a private university in Da Lat is named in his honor.

 9 
Ignazio Cassis
(President of Switzerland)
Ignazio Cassis
0
Birthdate: April 13, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sessa, Ticino, Switzerland

The current president of Switzerland and FDP.The Liberals politician, Ignazio Cassis is also a qualified doctor of internal medicine, who has previously led the Swiss Medical Association as its vice president. He is also fluent in German, French, and Italian, and was initially an Italian citizen.

 10 
Conrad Gessner
(Swiss Physician, Naturalist and Philologist Known for His Systematic Compilations of Information on Animals and Plants)
Conrad Gessner
3
Birthdate: March 26, 1516
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: December 13, 1565

Born to a poor fur dealer, Conrad Gessner was sent to study under an uncle who dealt in medicinal herbs. He then studied theology but later grew up to become a Renaissance polymath, excelling in subjects such as natural history and medicine. His Bibliotheca universalis remains a major work in bibliography.

 11 
Serge Voronoff
(Surgeon, Immunologist, Gynaecologist)
Serge Voronoff
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1866
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Voronezh
Died: September 3, 1951

Russian-French surgeon Serge Voronoff, or the Monkey Gland Man, stunned everyone by implanting monkey testicles in his patients to cure impotence. He had apparently also injected himself with dog and guinea pig testicle extracts. Unfortunately, the scientific community dismissed his claims as simply the result of placebo effect.

 12 
Maja Einstein
(Romanist)
Maja Einstein
2
Birthdate: November 18, 1881
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: June 25, 1951

Maja Einstein is remembered as Albert Einstein’s younger sister and only sibling. After acquiring a Ph.D. in romance languages and literature from Bern, Switzerland, she got married. However, at the beginning of World War II, she fled to the U.S. and remained estranged from her husband till her death.

 13 
Emil Theodor Kocher
2
Birthdate: August 25, 1841
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bern, Switzerland
Died: July 27, 1917

Emil Theodor Kocher was a Swiss medical researcher and physician. In 1909, Kocher became the first surgeon and first Swiss citizen to receive a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He earned the prize for his work in the pathology, physiology, and surgery of the thyroid. He was widely regarded as a leader and pioneer in the field of surgery.

 14 
Charles Eugster
(Track and field athlete)
Charles Eugster
2
Birthdate: July 26, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: April 26, 2017

Once a dentist, Charles Eugster stunned the world when he took to sprinting at age 95. In fact, he participated in age-group rowing in his 60s, winning countless gold medals, and also took up body building in his 80s. He penned his memoir, Age is Just a Number, at 97.

 15 
Adolf Meyer
(Psychiatrist)
Adolf Meyer
2
Birthdate: September 13, 1866
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Niederweningen, Switzerland
Died: March 17, 1950

Swiss-born American psychiatrist Adolf Meyer is best remembered for introducing the concept of ergasiology, or psychobiology. Not only was he associated with the Johns Hopkins Hospital throughout his life, but he also led the American Psychiatric Association as its president. He was also a pioneering figure in occupational therapy.

 16 
Ludwig Binswanger
(Swiss psychiatrist)
Ludwig Binswanger
2
Birthdate: April 13, 1881
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kreuzlingen
Died: February 5, 1966

Known for his application of the concepts of phenomenology to psychotherapy, psychiatrist Ludwig Binswanger was a pioneering figure in the field of existential psychology. He had been a close associate and follower of Sigmund Freud since his early days and later penned Sigmund Freud: Reminiscences of a Friendship.

 17 
Walter Rudolf Hess
(Physiologist)
Walter Rudolf Hess
2
Birthdate: March 17, 1881
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Frauenfeld
Died: August 12, 1973

Walter Rudolf Hess was a Swiss physiologist whose research on the diencephalon earned him the 1949 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His research helped him to map the parts of the brain that control the internal organs. In 1930, he helped found the International Foundation for the High Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch and served as its director till 1937.

 18 
Rolf M. Zinkernagel
(Immunologist)
Rolf M. Zinkernagel
2
Birthdate: January 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Riehen, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland

Rolf M. Zinkernagel is a Swiss professor who teaches Experimental Immunology. In 1996, he was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work pertaining to the immune system. In 1999, his scientific work also earned him Australia's highest civilian honor, the Companion of the Order of Australia.  

 19 
Gaspard Bauhin
(Swiss Botanist Who Introduced a Scientific Binomial System of Classification to Both Anatomy and Botany)
Gaspard Bauhin
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1560
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: December 5, 1624

Born to a French physician in Switzerland, Gaspard Bauhin was a qualified physician himself and later made some of the most significant contributions to the classification of plants. Known for his Pinax theatri botanica, he also provided one of the initial descriptions of the ileocecal (or Bauhin’s) valve.

 20 
Paul Tournier
(Physician)
Paul Tournier
1
Birthdate: May 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Geneva
Died: October 7, 1986
 21 
Thomas Erastus
(Physician)
Thomas Erastus
1
Birthdate: September 7, 1524
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Aargau, Switzerland
Died: December 31, 1583

While he initially studied theology, the 1544 plague drove him to study medicine, too. He is said to have been a pioneer of Erastianism, a union between the church and the state. In his writings, he also often opposed philosopher Paracelsus and his views.

 22 
Auguste Forel
(Swiss Psychiatrist Known for Contributions to 'Sexology' and 'Myrmecology')
Auguste Forel
1
Birthdate: September 1, 1848
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Morges, Switzerland
Died: July 27, 1931

Renowned Swiss neuroanatomist and psychiatrist Auguste Forel is known for his lifelong research on the human brain structure. He also devoted himself to social causes, such as the prevention of alcoholism. His early interest in insects led him to study the psychology of ants, too.

 23 
Marcel Junod
(Physician)
Marcel Junod
1
Birthdate: May 14, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died: June 16, 1961
 24 
Kitty Ponse
(She was a professor at the University of Geneva and received the Swiss Otto Naegeli Prize in 1961)
Kitty Ponse
0
Birthdate: September 5, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sumatra, Indonesia
Died: February 10, 1982

Otto Naegeli Prize-winning Swiss zoologist and endocrinologist Kitty Ponse was born to Dutch parents in the then-Dutch colony, Sumatra, present-day Indonesia. She moved to Switzerland at 8, and grew up to be a pioneering researcher of sex determination and differentiation in amphibians. She also co-founded the journal Acta Endocrinologica.

 25 
Édouard Claparède
(Swiss Neurologist and Psychologist Known for His Formulation of the 'Law of Momentary Interest')
Édouard Claparède
1
Birthdate: March 24, 1873
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: September 29, 1940

Known for his pioneering work in the fields of child and educational psychology, Édouard Claparède was also the co-founder of the journal Archives de psychologie. A professor at the University of Geneva, too, he also conducted research on animal psychology and the biological theory of sleep.

 26 
Joachim Vadianus
1
Birthdate: November 29, 1484
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: St. Gallen, Switzerland
Died: April 6, 1551
 27 
Hans Martin Sutermeister
0
Birthdate: September 29, 1907
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Feuerthalen
Died: May 4, 1977
 28 
Eduard Einstein
(Psychiatrist)
Eduard Einstein
0
Birthdate: July 28, 1910
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Zürich
Died: October 25, 1965

Better known as Albert Einstein’s second son, Eduard Einstein initially showed a lot of promise in music but was a sickly child. He later studied medicine and explored psychiatry but was himself affected by schizophrenia by his early 20s. He lost much of his speech and cognitive abilities due to electroconvulsive therapy.