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Hermann Friedrich Kilian

Born 1800
Died 1863

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German gynaecologist, born February 5, 1800, Bonn; died August 7, 1863, Bad Liebenstein.

Biography of Hermann Friedrich Kilian

Hermann Friedrich Kilian was the son of the physician Konrad Joseph Kilian (1771-1811). From 1810 to 1816 he attended the German Hauptschule in St. Petersburg and 1816-1817 studied in Wilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania), where Joseph Frank (1771-1842) was then teacher. 1817-1818 he was in Leipzig, the next year in Würzburg, and from January to March 1820 stayed in Göttingen. He then went via Holland to London and Edinburgh, where he was conferred doctor of medicine in 1820.

From England Kilian went to Paris and for the next years spent time in Strassburg, Munich, and Vienna for further education. In 1821 he returned to St. Petersburg, where he became professor of medicine, adjunct of chemistry, later also of physiology and pathology, at the medical faculty, and also served as a physician at the Artillery Hospital.

In 1828 Kilian went to Germany once more, concerning himself with writing while spending time in Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Berlin. The same year he accepted a call from Bonn as extraordinarius. In 1834 he was appointed ordinarius of obstetrics, a position he still held at the time of his death in 1863. In March, 1847, he was the first to apply ether anaesthesia in Germany.

In 1842 he rejected an invitation to assume directorship of an institute of midwifery that had been established under the protection of Grand Princess (Grossfürstin) Helene. In his position as clinical teacher he struggled in vain to establish a gynaecological clinic, which he considered urgently necessary. Kilian was an eager and competent teacher, and a prolific writer.

From 1847 to 1851 he was co-editor of the journal Rheinische Monatsschrift für praktische Aerzte, which appeared in Bonn.

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