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Academician Professor Dr Vladimir F. Vujić

Academician Professor Dr Vladimir F. Vujić (1894-1953),was born in Belgrade, in 1894, in bourgeois family. He started his medical studies in Paris in 1913, but soon after that he moved to Vienna. Being driven by patriotism, he voluntarily joined military corps in the Balkan Wars and World War I. During the entire World War I, he was in military medical corps as. He was in retreat with Serbian military corps over Albania to Greece. After the War was over, he went to Prague, where he completed his medical studies in 1923. He successfully had the mastery of Germany, French and Check, and to lesser extent, Italian and Greek. Prof. Dr. Vladimir F. Vujic studied medicine in Paris and Prague, and he completed his specialist training in neurology and psychiatry in Vienna, in 1925, at the Clinic headed by Professor Julius Wagner-Jauregg, a Nobel Prize winner for medicine, i.e. pyretotherapy of progressive paralysis in 1927.

After the War, Prof. Dr. V. Vujic was appointed a vice-dean of the School of Medicine and full professor as well as the Head of Department. He was a Head of Department of Neurology, Psychiatry and Medical Psychology for life (1945-1953). After his professional trip to England in 1946/47, he was elected member of the Royal Medical Society. In addition, he was a member of the Vienna Society of Neuropsychiatry and Society of Neurologists and Psychiatrists of Czechoslovakia and France. He published many papers in Czech, German, French and English journals. His discoveries on behavior of cerebrospinal fluid pressure during sleep have been still significant from the scientific aspect, and his studies on optical after-image illusions enabled him to detect pathology of visual centers and pathways. His major merit was that he first noticed and described new phenomena of Caligaris syndrome, one special type of fruste “larval” brain disease, as well as that he noted rotation extremity phenomena in meningitis, subsequently named “Vujic signs”. He made all his discoveries public in Basel in 1939, in collaboration with Dr. Kurt Levy. Having studied the flue epidemics in Belgrade, he clinically evaluated in details the whole pathology and as a result from this research, he published monograph in 1948 under the title Encephalitis larvata. This Vujic’s discovery has been quoted in all world-known textbooks. As academician (Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts) Professor Vujic was awarded the very first AVNOJ Prize for his work, granted by the Ministry of Science and Culture of FPRY (Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia). Professor Vladimir F. Vujic kept up correspondence with neuropsychiatric greats such as Pal Kosa, Robert Wartenberg, and, moreover, scientific-research polemics with Pierre Janet over concept of then highly appreciated psychasthenia.
Until 1931, he worked in Hospital of Mental Diseases in Guberevac, where from he was reappointed to School of Medicine as assistant-professor. As associate professor, he worked full nine years, and thereafter he was promoted to full professor. Since 1945, he was a Head of Clinic of Neuropsychiatry, and since 1948, corresponding member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
During Prof. Dr. Vladimir F. Vujic’s managing, the Clinic of Neuropsychiatry employed young personnel, which developed rich pedagogic, professional and research work. He was truly strict patron, brought up in German spirit, with awe-inspiring look and words. He requested permanent work and improvement from his associates. All assistant-professors and teachers had to be prepared for lectures. They used to be at Professor Vujic’s residence as early as five o’clock in the morning before classes. Then, he tested them one by one to revise their knowledge. Before classes, Vujic called the roll and all associates of the Clinic had to attend the lectures. It was a genuine “Viennese school”, that is, world school of neuropsychiatry, and high hierarchy of relationships was observed; namely, one would always know who was in charge, who did what, how much one was worth, etc.…
Even during his studies, he often visited Western European countries to enhance his expertise. He completed his specialist training in Wien with Prof. Dr. Wagner-Jauregg and at Berlin Clinic under Professor Dr. Bonhoeffer. After World War II, he stood out for his professional and research work, high-quality delivery of lectures and continuous observation of the scientific literature. He described cases and detected new signs of larval encephalitis during flu epidemic. He emphasized the significance of optical after-images in different diseases. He published the first text-book Medical Psychology and General Psychopathology, which became the baseline of special psychiatry. Detection and formulation of the larval encephalitis, until then unknown entity in medicine, was made public by Vujic first in Basel in 1939, in collaboration with Dr. Kurt Levy, in the book Die Patologie des optischen Nachbilder, and thereafter in the book published in Belgrade in 1952 under the title Medical Psychology and General Psychopathology. The discovery of Vujic has been quoted in all textbooks worldwide. It was a period when the collaboration of psychologist and psychiatrist was established for the first time, although just formally, by employing the first clinical psychologist at the clinic. In this way, for the first time, slightly open door was opened widely after several years by associates and students of professor Vojin Matic, who found the space for development of dynamics and pediatric psychiatry not at the Clinic but within the Institute  of Mother’s and Child’s Health Care, at the Department of Pediatric Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade.
Professor Vujic was remembered by his students and doctors as an authoritative person, a man with huge knowledge and as an extraordinary lecturer. His lectures attracted the attention not only of medical students but also those from other faculties; not only for the reason of topics he used to speak about but also the way of their presentation. And the subjects of his lectures, very often inspiring, were found not only in curriculum but also in the critics made, although rarely, by half-schooled ideologists of materialism (spirit, soul, spiritual life, etc.).
By his creative works, professor Vujic was a corner stone of our neuropsychiatry. It is generally believed that professor Vujic was one of the most prominent personalities who made difference in the first half of 20th century. As an educator, he left a profound imprint on teaching system at the School of Medicine in Belgrade. His opinion was respected and observed only by doctors in Serbia and former Yugoslavia but also by distinguished circles in Europe, what was corroborated by recognition and appreciation of his communications at international scientific meetings.
For his lifetime, he stood for firm ethic person, with enormous erudition, and he was rightfully designated as doyen of Serbian medicine. As a token of appreciation for his contribution to profession and science, the Clinic of Psychiatry, School of Medicine in Belgrade, was named after him. Another great contribution of professor Vujic was introduction of psychology and psychopathology into teaching system within psychiatric education of doctors. His first interest in psychology dated back to the times of his medical studies. He was one of the best connoisseurs of psychoanalysis and new dynamic courses originating from it, but he was not their advocator. Such interest resulted in the first textbook of medical psychology and psychopathology prepared for medical students. He had not enough time left to finish the second part of the textbook.

 

 

Webinars over Internet

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Scientific papers

A list of scientific papers published by the employees of the Neurology clinic since 1981. Complete list can be found here.