Pathological Anatomy

Professor Włodzimierz, Brodowski. Source: MHMWUM

The Department of Pathological Anatomy was not established in Warsaw until the Main School was opened because, for a long time, it was not recognized as being a key discipline in the medical profession. Teofil Wisłocki was the original person nominated head the department, but it soon turned out that he did not have the necessary academic qualifications. In 1862, Włodzimierz Brodowski began lecturing on pathological anatomy, two years later he became head of the Department of Pathological Anatomy, a post he fulfilled until 1898 while at the same time also being dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the Imperial University of Warsaw. During the first few decades, the classes were held in a grimy, damp building located on pl. Warecki, next to the former seat of the Infant Jesus Hospital. Ludwik Czarkowski gave a detailed description of the conditions in the teaching rooms: ‘The prosectorium was located in a grimy two-story tenement house with an entrance on ul. Zgoda, the outside walls were painted with the cheapest of water-based paints of a bluish-grey colour which was shabby and scratched in many places; the windows were covered in spiders’ webs, dusty, mud splattered. The entrance consisted of a single-leafed door with a scale into an elongated hall, on the right of which were lodgings of the porter, a Rusky who was protected by Chausov, and a little further to the left, the door leading to the pathological anatomy laboratory of Dean Brodowski; at the end of the hall, on the left, was the entrance to a small courtyard, with led to the hallway, and then on the right to the anatomical theatre, with the morgue to the left which was also the dissection room, and straight on to the office of the professors who taught various subjects connected with anatomy (Chausov, Przewoski, Brodowski).’

Anatomical museum in the Collegium Anatomicum building, which functions within the Department of Pathological Anatomy of the university’s Faculty of Medicine. Source: MHMWUM

After Professor Brodowski, the Department of Pathology was taken over by his best pupil, Edward Przewoski. During his term of office the department was moved to the newly opened Anatomicum building in the vicinity of ul Oczki and Teodora (now ul. Chałubińskiego). The new workplace, which was very well equipped, could also boast having a well-stocked anatomopathological museum. After Przewoski’s tenure ended, the Department was headed by Doc. Yusef Pozharisky, who was Russian, however his unfriendly attitude towards the Poles cast a shadow over his activities. The Department of Anatomical Pathology in the reborn University of Warsaw was opened in 1919 and was headed by Józef Hornowski. In the four years in which he ran the department he managed to create a flourishing research centre. After Hornowski’s death in 1923 his work was continued by Ludwik Paszkiewicz. The department was still functioning in the Anatomicum building located at ul. Chałubińskiego 5. In addition to Paszkiewicz, lectures were also given by: Wilhelm Czarnocki, Karol Chodkowski, Janina Dąbrowska, Władysław Melanowski and Zofia Dobijowa among others. For many years, an important element of the department’s teaching and scientific activities was work in the field of dissection and histopathological examinations. Currently Professor Barbara Górnicka is heir to the pre-war tradition and head of the Department of Pathological Anatomy.