ZANE ALIKA and MĀRTIŅŠ VESPERIS
Pauls Stradiņš Museum of the History of Medicine, Riga (Latvia)
The Scientific Work and Private Practice of Professor Pāvils Mucenieks
Early in 2018, the Pauls Stradiņš Museum of the History of Medicine received the personal effects, documents and photographs of Professor Pāvils Mucenieks (1891–1940) – some 200 items in all. Mucenieks was an important medical person in Latvia because of the scholarly research that he conducted in various areas of medicine. He was the first in Latvia to perform a thoracoplasty (1928) and a lung lobectomy (1932). Mucenieks was a member of the Medical Faculty at the University of Latvia from 1921 until 1940. In 1940, he was elected to a professorship and became the director of the 3rd Surgical Diseases Clinic. Mucenieks was also the senior physician at the 2nd Surgery Department of the 1st Rīga Hospital from 1928 until 1940. He also had a private practice. The Pauls Stradiņš Museum of the History of Medicine used to have only six items related to Mucenieks, and now the new collection includes 110 documents, including 12 scholarly papers, 29 personal documents, 18 patient records, nine lists of operations, his doctoral dissertation, five patient registers from his private practice, and 36 other documents. Among the most important ones are drafts of scholarly papers, finished publications, and Mucenieks’s dissertation with appendices. He began to receive patients on 3 January 1924, and the last ones visited his private practice on 6 May 1940. The last patient was examined one day before Professor Mucenieks’s death. During his career, he was visited by 54,388 patients.
These new documents substantially expand the museum’s collections and offer a much more thorough understanding of one of Latvia’s most important surgeons during the interwar period. His professionalism was appreciated by patients, clients and colleagues alike.