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Doctors from Asia Minor in Chios in the early 20th century

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Doctors from Asia Minor in Chios in the early 20th century


From ancient times Chios had closed relations with Asia Minor coasts. These relations were great during 18th and 19th century and very quickly they have been developed into all sections of life as well as in sciences for example the Medicine. Great doctors from Asia Minor shown remarcable presence in the nearby island of Chios. Doctors mainly from the Peninsular of Eryhtrea and the Cosmopolitan Smyrna but also from other areas of Asia Minor arrived in Chios, sometimes seeking vital national space, sometimes persecuted by the tragic events of 1914 and 1922. Carrying their brilliant studies, scientific expertise and their particular culture they offer scientific and social help in the society of the island. But let us give a more detailed reference to those doctors from Asia Minor who arrived in Chios from the late 19th until the early 20th century. According to the Medical Association Archives of Chios the following physicians are listed               (in alphabetical order)

1. Anamissakis George, Demetrius. Born in Krini (Cesme) in 1871. He graduated from the National University in 1891. He worked as a General Practitioner - Obstetrician in Chios since 1898. He died on March 13, 1946.

2. Dritsakis John, Constantine. Born in Alacata in 1874. He graduated from the Medical Faculty of Moscow in 1902. He was a Pathologist in Chios since 1924. He died on March 3, 1940.

3. Eugenides Anestis, Gregory. Born in Konya in 1898. He graduated from the National University in 1925. He was Director of the Health Center in Chios from 1935 until 1945, when he left for Athens.

4. Iatrou Meletios, Constantine. Born in Ourgioup of Asia Minor in 1911. He graduated from the National University in 1938. He was a Microbiologist in Chios since 1961. 

5. Isidoridis Apostolos, Isadore. Born in Krini (Cesme) in 1869. He graduated from the National University in 1898. He was a Pathologist in Chios from 1914 until he retired in 1937.

6. Koubias Demetrios, George. Born in St. Paraskevi, Cesme in 1858. He graduated from the National University in 1900. He was a Pathologist in Chios from 1914 until 1922. He retired prematurely due to illness. He died on October 21, 1940.

7. Perpinias Michael, Nicholas. Born in Smyrna in 1903. He graduated from the National University in 1929. He was Obstetrician - Gynecologist and Dermatologist - Dendrologist in Chios since 1940. In 1963, he worked as dermatologist in the National Health Services. During the period 1940 - 1945 he had been transferred to Aigialia. Besides Medicine he was also a great chanter, leaving a significant legacy in the psalmody art.

8. Sotiropoulos Alexander, Sotirios. Born in Smyrna in 1876. He graduated from the National University in 1926. He was an Ophthalmologist and was working in Chios from 1923 (?) until 1953. He died on November 25, 1955.

9. Sotiropoulos Sotirios, Alexander. Born in Smyrna in 1910. He graduated from the National University in 1933. As an Ophthalmologist worked in Chios since 1935. He died on May 12, 1949.

10. Tsimenis Nicolas, Leonidas. Born in Redesto in 1907. He graduated from the National University in 1929. He was a Pathologist working in the area of Cambos, Chios from 1931 to 1937. He died on January 6, 1942 from tuberculosis.

11. Tsolakas Nicolas Constantine. Born in Alacata, Cesme in 1879. He graduated from the National University in 1902. As a Pathologist worked in Chios since 1914. He retired in 1959.

12. Hatzistavrou Dionysius, Stavros. Born in 1859 in Aidini. He graduated from the National University in 1926. As a Pathologist he worked on Oinousses since 1942 until 1963 when he moved and worked as a naval doctor. He retired in 1970.

A number of other physicians who worked and gave their medical assistance to the people of the island are also mentioned below.
-The physician Hippocrates Xanthias was originated from Smyrna. He graduated from Evangeliki School in 1890, and studied medicine at the Athens University. He continued with his postgraduate studies in hospitals in France. He served at military hospitals in Athens as an instructor. In 1911 he reported as Director of the “Skylitseio”  Surgeon Hospital of Chios, where be remained for several months.

-The doctor Nicolas Vlamos was originated from the peninsula of Erythrea. He studied first at the “Krinea” School in Cesme and then he continued his education at a high school in Chios. He studied medicine at the Athens University and post graduated in Paris. He worked in Chios, after the persecution. He wrote an interesting essay about Erythrea, which unfortunately did not published as he died in June 1935.

-Another great physician, Michael Isigonis was born in Smyrna in 1854. He was the son of the great teacher Antonio Isigonis who founded the “Hellenic Paidagogeion” in Smyrna. In 1871 he studied at the classical school of Halle in Saxony. He continued with his studies in medicine in Basel, Switzerland, and then specialized in ophthalmology at the clinic of Prof. H. Schiess. In 1880 he returned to Smyrna and worked successfully in Ophthalmology. He runs for many years the Ophthalmologic department in the Hospital "St. Haralambos” in Smyrna.
In 1896 he married Helen Krousoulenti, whose family was from Chios. After the death of his wife in 1905, he remarried with Efrosyni D. Antovik.
Apart from his scientific specialty he was writing articles in Greek and German magazines. Being student in 1876 he published his work "Aristotle fond of animals", in the literary magazine of Smyrna "Homer." He also wrote the thesis "On visual gallery of Aristotle" which was published in a Journal of Switzerland and Berlin. At a conference in medicine in 1887 he presented his work on  “Spread of short sight at schools of Smyrna”.
He went to Chios in 1881 when a serious earthquake happened participating in an international mission from Smyrna to help and take care of the people.
With the beginning of the First World War, Michael Isigonis is on vacation in Mytilene, and there remains blocked for a short time, then he goes to Chios and stays there until the end of the war.
During his stay in Chios from 1914 until 1919 he works on the establishment of the Ophthalmology Hospital, for the care of poor people and refugees and also on the creation of the Medical Association of Chios, on June 4, 1917.
After the tragic events of August 1922, he moves to Athens where he dies in 1931.

-The doctor Dimitrios Stais born in 1872 in Kythera. He studied at the Evangeliki School of Smyrna. He studied medicine in Athens and then in Paris. He married Marie Apostolides. In 1896 he moves to Smyrna and works as a Pathologist and Obstetrician. He was a director of the Obstetric Department in the Greek and English Hospital. From 1913 to 1918 he worked in Athens. After the disaster of 1922 he stayed for some time in Chios, and later permanently in Athens where he worked with Prof. Aravantinos in a private clinic. He wrote scientific studies on Obstetrics. He was Director of the Municipal Maternity Hospital of Athens. Dr. Stais encouraged Zenobia Kokkali on the establishment of the Maternity Hospital in Chios.

The offer of the above doctors on the population of the Chios Island was great.

From “Mikrassiatiki Echo” No 401, July-August 2009

Translated by K.K.Barbatsi

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