The first issue of "The Medical-Surgical Journal", the oldest biomedical scientific journal in Romania, appeared in January 1887. Its appearance and evolution were the result of the foundation, in 1833, of the Society of Physicians and Naturalists, the first scientific society in the Romania Principalities, and later on by the development of higher medical education, the Iasi Faculty of Medicine (1879), which since 1990 has become the “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania.
First, on January 11th, 1830 the "Iassyer medicinsche Lesevereine" (“Iasi Medical Reading Circle”) was set up as an association with cultural and scientific purposes, bearing this name because most of its founding members - physicians, pharmacists, chemists, botanists, agronomists – studied in Germany, and some even being of German nationality. Initially, the 21 members subscribed, on their own expense, to 11 German and one French journals. Two of the members of this circle stood out by their higher culture: Dr. Mihai Zotta, Chief-physician of Iasi (a Romanian from Bucovina), and Dr. Iacob Czihak (Cihac), Chief of Moldavian Medical Police (Bavarian doctor who came to Iasi in 1825). They were the first to initiate the setting up of a scientific society, first named “The Moldavian-Romanika Medical Society”.
The first statute of the Society was written in French. "The main goal of the Society” was “to improve the health system in principles”, "to follow the progress and advancement of medical science”,“the publication of brochures in foreign countries on drugs and natural history of two principalities”, "relationship with known foreign societies”. Formulated in the language of those times, these goals are still valid for any scientific society.
On March 18th, 1833, the Society of Physicians and Naturalists supported the integration of Moldova in the European culture and medicine. Over the years, most of the over 150 presidents of the Society were leading medical personalities, who gained a place in the history of Romanian science or medicine.
The early publishing activity of the Society was limited to studies on the mineral waters in Moldova and to the rules for medical practice.
On January 1st, 1844 appears the first publication “Health and Economy Instructor, Periodical for the Romanian People” containing articles on health and economics, followed, in 1850, by “The Sheet of the Society of Physicians and Naturalists in the Principality of Moldova”, both edited by Constantin Virnav, and having the same goals: spreading of knowledge on folks about medicine, hygiene, agriculture, veterinary medicine and home economics.
In the January 1887 appears the journal of the Society of Physicians and Naturalists, originally named “Bulletin of the Society of Physicians and Naturalists of Iasi”, which in 1924 took the name, kept until now, “Revista Medico-Chirurgicala“/“The Medical-Surgical Journal”.
Due to a favorable public climate to achieve higher education initiated by the Society of Physicians and Naturalists, as well as to the perseverance and devotion of some personalities, Society members, on December 1st, 1879, was established the Iasi Faculty of Medicine. Gradually, in spite of obstacles, the Iasi Faculty of Medicine kept consolidating, gaining the recognition of the Romanian scientific community.
Since 1879, the destinies of these two institutions have officially intermingled, the Faculty of Medicine becoming a medical research center, and the Society a complex structure for the communication and dissemination of major health problems. Most editors of "The Medical Surgical Journal" came from the teaching staff of the Faculty of Medicine, and, after 1990, the other three faculties that are part of the "Grigore T. Popa" University of Medicine and Pharmacy from Iasi.
Since its foundation,"The Medical-Surgical Journal" has polarized the most valuable collaborators in the Iasi academic medical center, all medical centers in Moldova, as well as other academic medical centers in the country and abroad. The prestige of the Journal has grown considerably in the interwar period, so that in 1932 the Department of Hygiene of the League of Nations considered "The Medical-Surgical Journal" as a "great medical publication".
The celebration of 100 years of "The Medical-Surgical Journal” was also an occasion to review the publishing activity in different areas of medicine, presented by the professors teaching the basic and clinical disciplines. The dedication and proficiency of all collaborators made "The Medical-Surgical Journal" one of the most appreciated Romanian medical journals, both in the country and internationally. Thus, during that period, the journal was accepted in exchange for over 275 periodicals in 43 countries, being reviewed and indexed by 22 publications and specialized institutions, including INDEX MEDICUS and MEDLINE.
An overview allowed us to notice that the journal also contributed to the creation and completion of the medical vocabulary adapted to Romanian language, becoming a source of scientific and applied medical data, and also being an excellent school for the students and young medical doctors’ training in medical scientific publishing.
After 1990, when many Romanian medical journals have delayed or even ceased publication, "The Medical-Surgical Journal" appeared regularly, with 4 quarterly issues, with a rigorous selection of the published articles, and multidisciplinary addressability.