- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Johann Ernst Wichmann

Born  1740
Died  1802

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    German physician, born May 10, 1740, Hanover; died June 12, 1802.

    Biography of Johann Ernst Wichmann

    Like Paul Gottlieb Werlhof, Johann Ernst Wichmann was one of the most distinguished and famous German physicians of his time. He studied at Göttingen from 1759, particularly under Johann Gottfried Brendel (1712-1758), Rudolph Augustin Vogel (1724-1774), and Johann Georg Roederer (1726-1763). He received his doctorate in 1762 and subsequently settled in his native town. In the following year he undertook scientific journeys to France and England, staying for a sustained period of time in London.

    In London Wichmann attained a thorough knowledge of English medicine, the basic principles of which he first introduced to Germany. He returned to Hanover in 1764, spending much of his efforts in translating various English medical works. He won the friendship of Werlhof, became physician to the indigenous and the poorhouse and, following the death of Werlhof, became second personal physician (Leibarzt), while also maintaining a busy practice. He was also an intimate friend of Johann Georg Zimmermann (1728-1795), first royal Hanoverian Leibarzt. His premature death at the age of 62 was probably caused by grieving over his wife’s death.


    • De insigni venenorum quorundam virtute medica imprimisque cantharidum ad morsum animalium rabidorum praestantia.
      Doctoral dissertation, Göttingen, 1762.
    • Ideen zur Diagnostik. 3 volumes. Hannover, im Verlage der Helwingschen Hofbuchhandlung 1794-1802; 1800-1821; Vienna, 1798.
    • Aetiologie der Krütze. Hannover, Gebrüder Helwing, 1786, 1791.
      Wichmann definetily established the parasitic aetiology of scabies.
    • De pollutione diurna, frequentiori sed rarius observata tabescentiae causa.
      Göttingen, 1782; German translation, Altenburg, 1791; French, Lyon, 1817.
    • Beytrag zur Kenntniss des Pemphigus. Erfurt, 1791.
    • Zimmermann’s Krankheitsgeschichte. Hannover, 1796. A collection of his smaller medical writings, collected and improved by himself, appeared in Hannover in 1799; Vienna, 1801.
    • Julius Pagel (1851-1912):
      Johann Ernst Wichmann. In: August Hirsch, publisher: Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte aller Zeiten und Völker. Urban & Schwarzenberg. 2nd edition. Berlin, 1929. Pp. 923-924.

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