Marie Heim-Vögtlin

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Marie Heim-Vögtlin
Marie Heim-Vögtlin in 1915 during her long-term pulmonary tuberculosis.

Marie Heim-Vögtlin (born October 7, 1845 in Bözen , canton Aargau ; † November 7, 1916 in Zurich ) was the first female Swiss doctor . She was the first Swiss woman who at the University of Zurich , the study of medicine graduated, and she co-founded the first Swiss woman hospital .


Marie Vögtlin was the daughter of Julius Daniel Vögtlin, the village pastor of Bözen, and his wife Henriette nee Benker. In 1868 she expressed her desire to study medicine and become a doctor, which caused a scandal across Switzerland. So far, only a few foreign women have been able to enroll at the University of Zurich , which was the first university in Europe to allow women to study regularly, such as the Russian Nadeschda Suslowa . Vögtlin's engagement to her cousin Friedrich Erismann , also a medical student, was broken off by him after two years.

In order for Marie Vögtlin to be admitted to the exam in 1873 , her father had to obtain a written permit. After graduation she specialized in Leipzig for gynecologist and spent several months in a maternity hospital in Dresden . On July 11, 1874, she passed her doctoral examination in Zurich with the dissertation on the findings of the genitals in the puerperium .

The approval for her own doctor's practice in Zurich was granted to her in 1874 only after another intervention by her father. Consulted only hesitantly - and exclusively by women - Vögtlin was soon able to build a good reputation and became one of the most popular doctors in the region.

In 1875 she married the geology professor Albert Heim , whom she had already met while studying in Zurich. Heim agreed that she should continue working as a doctor after the marriage. The two had three children, Arnold , Helene and another daughter. This third child died after three weeks.

On July 11, 1899 the foundation stone was laid for the women's hospital planned by Marie Heim-Vögtlin together with Anna Heer and the affiliated Swiss nursing school . She headed the children's department in Zurich's “Pflegei”, which opened in 1901 at Carmenstrasse 40.

In addition to her work as a gynecologist, Heim-Vögtlin actively advocated women's suffrage and was active in the abstinence movement. She died on November 7, 1916 as a result of a lung disease and was buried in the Sihlfeld cemetery in Zurich .


In honor of the first female Swiss doctor, the Swiss National Science Foundation awards the Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize (MHV) annually to support qualified women scientists whose scientific careers are hampered by family circumstances. Since 2009, the MHV Prize, endowed with 25,000 francs, has been given to grantees who have achieved exceptional scientific achievements during the funding program.

Since 1995, a path that leads past the Triemli City Hospital , the Maternité Women's Clinic at the Triemli City Hospital and the nursing school has been called the Marie-Heim-Vögtlin-Weg . In Brugg AG , the route from Altenburgerstrasse to Museumstrasse has the same name. There is also a Marie-Vögtlin-Weg in the “ Swiss Quarter ” in Berlin-Lichterfelde . On June 22, 2016, the canton capital Aarau named a short stretch of road before the emergency room of the Heim-Vögtlinstrasse cantonal hospital .

On the 100th anniversary of Heim-Vögtlin's death in 2016, Swiss Post issued a stamp in her honor.

Marie Heim-Vögtlin was honored on the occasion of the women's honors of the Gesellschaft zu Fraumünster 2010. To this end, a plaque of honor was unveiled at Hottingerstrasse 25, at the location of her practice.


  • Caring for the child in the first year of life. Lucerne 1898.


Web links

Commons : Marie Heim-Vögtlin  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bettina Jakob: The first Swiss doctor climbed steep mountains. In: from November 16, 2011.
  2. ^ Marie Heim-Vögtlin and the Zurich nursing school
  3. ^ Prominent deceased of the city of Zurich
  4. Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize ( Memento of the original from September 10, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. ^ The Marie-Heim-Vögtlin-Weg at
  6. Aarau names Strasse after the first Swiss doctor ( memento from June 14, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) . sda, June 13, 2016.
  7. ^ Marie Heim-Vögtlin on postage stamp. Honor for the first female gynecologist in Europe. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung from February 3, 2016.