Dr. Lazar (Laza) K. Lazarević (1851-1891)

The founder of Serbian neurology and the author who first described and published the straight leg raising test

Sanja Drača


Lazar K. Lazarević during his studies in Berlin

Dr. Lazar K. Lazarević as the Head of the Internal Medicine Department of the General State Hospital in Belgrade

Dr. Lazar K. Lazarević as medical corps lieutenant-colonel

Dr. Lazar K. Lazarević (1851-1891) was a highly educated physician, scientist, writer and translator. He died at only 39 years of age with just under 11 years of professional career.
He was highly moral and noble personality, loyal to his profession and to his people until the last moment of his life. Dr. Lazarević has left behind a great work as an extraordinary clinician and scientist who gave an impressive contribution not only to the medical and science practices of his small country, Serbia, but also to the important fields of medicine in general. Thanks to some original scientific observations, his scientific work reached the highest level. His most important contributions were devoted to diverse topics in the field of neurology. Based on his papers concerning neurology, he is considered the founder of this branch of medicine in Serbia.

At the same time, like Anton P. Chehov, he dedicated himself to two demanding careers: his career as a physician and as a writer. Historians of Serbian literature valued him as the founder of psychological realism in Serbian prose, and he is called «Serbian Turgenev». His short stories represent master pieces of Serbian literature. He is also known for having translated from Russian, French and German.

He was able to achieve all of this despite difficult living and working conditions, family hardships and tragedies in his life, and tuberculosis which eventually led to his early death.

Dr. Lazar K. Lazarević, with huge self-sacrifice changed the course of Serbian medicine and literature during his close to eleven year professional career.