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Johann Baptist Chiari

Born  1817
Died  1854

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Austrian obstetrician and gynaecologist, born June 15, 1817, Salzburg; died December 11, 1854.

Biography of Johann Baptist Chiari

Johann Baptist Chiari studied medicine in Vienna under stern economical conditions. Already while still a student he was active in obstetrical departments. He was conferred doctor of medicine at Vienna in 1841 with the dissertation De legibus mechanicis motus muscularis. After obtaining a doctorate in surgery the following year, he got a position as assistant physician at the first obstetrical clinic in Vienna under professor Johann Klein (1788-1856), and subsequently devoted himself entirely to his specialty, gynaecology.

Chiari stayed with Klein from 1842 to 1844, and in 1845-1847 was active at the operative institute. In 1848 he became deputy to the obstetrical physician-in-chief, Dr. Eduard Mikschik (ca 1810-1856), and in 1849 was habilitated as Privatdozent of obstetrics. In 1853 he followed a calling as professor of obstetrics in Prague, but returned to Vienna one year later to receive an adequate position at the medical-surgical Josephs-Akademie. He died of cholera that year.

An important obstetrical work on which Chiari had participated, with Karl Ritter von Fernwald Braun (1822-1891) and Joseph Späth (1823-1896), was published in 1855, after his death. It contains a chapter by him on diseases of the uterus. During his active time several articles appeared in several medical journals of Vienna. He also achieved great importance through his organisational talent, which gave him some repute.


  • Klinik der Geburtshilfe und Gynäkologie.
    With Carl Ritter von Fernwald Braun (1822-1891) and Joseph Späth (1823-1896). Erlangen, Enke, 1855. 738 pages.
    This was the first textbook ever to present the theories of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (1818-1865) on handwashing as a means of preventing the spread of puerperal fever.
We thank Rudolf Kleinert, Bad Reichenhall, Germany, for information submitted.

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