Broken Toys

Ana Aslan

Life History - Part 11



Ana Aslan in lecture hall
In lecture hall

Between 1936 and 1944, she worked as the Head of Cardiology at the hospital of CFR (the Rumanian Railways). At the same time, she was the Chief Medical Officer of the clinical section of the University at the Philanthropic Hospital in Bucharest. In the CFR hospital there were mainly retired railway workers. Ana had a very intense contact with these older people. Apart from the usual treatment with medicine, she made sure that they had a healthy diet and exercise, as well as organising improvements of the exterior conditions of the house. She was extremely loving to her patients and, at the same time, she was scientifically greatly interested in their medical histories. She felt that she could learn a great deal from them. To study medicine without books is like sailing the ocean without a map. But studying medicine without patients is like not sailing at all. That was her philosophy. She befriended her patients and considered them her “parents”. At the New Year 1938, on her 51st birthday, she received a birthday card which read, “With feelings of deep gratitude to Dr Aslan who treats these toys which have been broken by life's demands, with both passion and devotion.” The card had been signed by a couple of elderly patients. She often remembered the sad, poetic words “broken toys”. They contained a challenge to do something for these people, a challenge to spend more time with them, and she often asked herself if one could not fix these “broken toys”.


In 1940, she began to lecture about cardiovascular diseases at the University of Bucharest, and she developed into an acknowledged specialist in this field.


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