A note from history: Rudolph Virchow, pathologist, armed revolutionist, politician, and anthropologist
Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science
their knowledge about gross pathology mainly by postmortem examinations. After Theodor Schwann and Matthias Schleiden (1804-1881) described normal human cells, Johannes Müller (1801-1858) and his students in Berlin begin to accumulate knowledge about the microscopic pathology of cells. One of Müller's most notable students was Rudolf Virchow . Virchow was born in the year that Napoleon (1769-1821) died. He studied medicine at the Army Medical School in Berlin with the intention to become an
... on to become an army physician. However, after graduation in 1843, he changed his mind and accepted an appointment at the largest hospital in Berlin, the Charité. He was an unpaid prosector, supported by his parents, with access to the physiology, anatomy, and embryology laboratories of Johannes Müller. Müller liked Virchow's boundless energy and encouraged him to study the pathologic alterations of cells in tissues removed from patients. During his years at Charité Hospital, Virchow wrote his first scientific papers. In 1845, when he was two years out of medical school, he described leukocytosis and coined the term leukemia  . A year later, he introduced the terms thrombosis and embolism  . Concerned that it took too long to publish his scientific papers, and with the support of friends, Virchow established his own journal, The Virchow's Archiv  , to expedite publication. 1848 was a year of revolutions throughout Europe. The movement for social and democratic reforms and freedom spread from Paris to the major European cities, including Berlin. Virchow promptly joined the movement. Armed with a pistol that he was given by a friend's father, Virchow took his place on the barricades in Berlin. He considered Fig. 1. The young revolutionist Virchow. 0091-7370/05/0200-0203. $0.75.