The Examples: 2) Professor Gheorge Marinescu

Ana Aslan

Life History - Part 8



Portraitbild Prof. Gheorge Marinescu
Prof. Gheorge Marinescu

When she came back in 1919 to Bucharest, in the third year of her medical training, she applied to become an assistant doctor to the great Rumanian neurologist, Prof Gheorge Marinescu. During her time there, she went through the Departments of Neurology, Paediatrics, Surgery, Gynaecology, as well as the Departments for diseases of the skin and vessels, for Infectious Diseases and for Inner medicine. She was responsible for a certain number of patients, whom she diagnosed and prescribed the first therapeutic measures. She always waited impatiently for the visit of the relevant Chief Medical Officer, whom she bombarded with questions. She later described this time of her studies as the most fruitful of her entire training. She was responsible for everything, but she had teachers whom she could ask for advice and who took the responsibility for decisions which exceeded her experience. She interrogated the “masters”, as she called her superiors, with great exactness and interest. During the hospital visits, she absorbed everything from her male examples that she could take in with her senses and intellect.


The most well-known and brilliant among these, was without a doubt, Prof Gheorge Marinescu himself. He was a well-known personality in the “Rumanian Association for Medicine”. From him, Ana Aslan heard about Geriatrics for the first time. Building on studies and research about the human nerve system, he published a book “The Nerve Cell” in Paris in 1909. This book focussed in depth on the theme of the ageing process of the brain. In it he describes that as the single nerve cell ages in conjunction with the general ageing process, this is based on ultra fine changes in the cell structure. This brilliant man had some very eccentric aspects to his personality. He arrived at 6 o' clock in the morning, and was always the last one to leave the laboratory. He thought buses and taxis were far too expensive, and usually arrived in the milkman's car, who had picked him up as he delivered the milk for the patients. Apart from Prof, Toma Ionescu, and Prof Daniel Danielopolou, her later doctor- father, Marinescu also qualifies as one of Aslan's substitute fathers. His later publication “The Problem of Ageing and Natural Death” (Published in 1924) is dedicated to her with these words “For Doctor Ana Aslan, as a sign of recognition for her merits in the research on the physiology of nerves and chronic illnesses. I am convinced that natural death is a natural process, as well as ageing is a natural necessary process.” The Book had a place of honour in her bookshelf, and she often referred to it while trying to disprove her mentor's prognosis and to stop the process of ageing and long life.


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