Anton Pavlovich Chekhov is known as a remarkable writer, one of the classics of Russian and world literature. But much less is known about Dr. Chekhov, despite the fact that he was a certified physician, a graduate of the medical faculty of Moscow University.
Anton Pavlovich's mother, Evgenia Yakovlevna Chekhova, always dreamed that her son would become a doctor. Her letter to Anton has survived, which contains the following wish: "by all means go to the medical faculty, respect me, the best thing to do." Anton fulfilled his mother's request, in 1879, after graduating from the gymnasium in Taganrog, Chekhov left for Moscow and entered the university at the Faculty of Medicine.
It is interesting that Chekhov chose medicine earlier than literature. He began to publish his first feuilletons and short stories during his studies in order to somehow earn a meager existence. Poverty prompted unremitting literary activity; every year Chekhov, a medical student, published up to 200 of his works. But even this was barely enough to feed himself and his family - his parents left for Moscow even earlier, his father was a merchant, then went bankrupt and was forced to flee from creditors.
When Chekhov was in his last year at university, he tried to combine literature and medicine, taking on a job he called "Medicine in Russia." Chekhov was so interested in the history of Russian medicine that he devoted more than one month to it, even to the detriment of studying and publishing stories. But, the tremendous work was never completed.
Chekhov passed his final exams at the university in the spring of 1884, receiving the title of district doctor. The first place of work of the young doctor was the Chikinskaya hospital, which was located on the outskirts of the city of Voskresensk near Moscow. He had to literally be torn between medical practice and literature. Moreover, many eminent writers, such as D.V. Grigorovich, convince Anton
Pavlovich is that his literary talent must not be buried.
But Chekhov himself loved medicine no less than literature. He told his acquaintances more than once that someday everyone would be convinced that he was a good doctor. It is interesting that in the address publication "All Moscow" of those years, Chekhov was listed as a "practicing doctor". Once Chekhov jokingly said: "Medicine is a lawful wife, and literature is a mistress."
Anton Pavlovich believed that medical practice had a huge impact on his literary activity, as it enriched him with new knowledge. Moreover, Chekhov successfully "weaves" this knowledge into the plot of his works, doctors are the heroes of many of his plays, stories and stories: "Surgery", "Jumping Girl", "Ward No. 6", "The Seagull" and many others.
In 1890, Chekhov decided to go to the distant island of Sakhalin, where he did a huge scientific research work. He wanted to look at the life of convicts not so much through the eyes of a writer as a doctor. Even Anton Pavlovich's identity card, which was signed by the head of Sakhalin, says "doctor". He stayed here for three months, filled out more than 10, 000 cards, a questionnaire that he himself developed for conducting a medical and sociological research.
In 1895, Chekhov learned about the plight of the journal Chronicle of Russian Surgery. The publication was on the verge of closing, as funds for financing were sorely lacking. In an effort to save the magazine, Chekhov went to the Main Directorate for Press Affairs. Saving a good surgical journal was just as useful as "doing 20, 000 successful operations, " he said. The magazine continued to be published under the name "Surgery", and its publication continued even at a time when Chekhov was no longer alive.
Even in the nineties of the nineteenth century, at the peak of his literary fame, Chekhov did not give up the dream that one day he would teach a course in pathology and therapy at Moscow University. And in 1892 he voluntarily took part in the fight against the cholera epidemic as a zemstvo doctor.
A terrible disaster then claimed about 300, 000 lives throughout Russia.
At the same time, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov himself did not always pay due attention to his own health. Already in 1884-1885. Chekhov began to notice signs of consumption, as tuberculosis was then called. And for many years he avoided a thorough medical examination, as if fearing to hear a terrible sentence from the lips of his colleagues.
In the last years of his life, Chekhov was forced to leave his native Moscow for warm Yalta. But, even the southern climate could no longer help him, the disease continued to progress. At the insistence of doctors in 1904, Chekhov left for Germany to the resort of Badenweiler, he could no longer return to Russia, death occurred on the night of July 2, according to the old style. The coffin was taken to Moscow, where Chekhov was buried.