Robert N. Braun

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Robert Nikolaus Braun (1995)

Robert Nikolaus Braun (born January 11, 1914 in Vienna ; † September 13, 2007 there ) was an Austrian general practitioner .


Robert N. Braun was born in Vienna as the son of the general practitioner Robert-Leopold Braun of Jewish descent and Nadja Nikolski, a native of the Russian noble family of the Urusoffs. The father had converted to the Christian faith and the children were raised in a Christian way.

After elementary school, Braun attended the Zirkusgasse grammar school in Vienna's 2nd district from 1924 to 1932 . He then studied medicine at the University of Vienna and graduated summa cum laude in 1937 .

For a short time he was able to work as a visiting doctor at the 2nd Medical University Clinic in the Vienna General Hospital , then he lost this position when Austria was annexed - half-Jew according to the Nuremberg Race Law . His parents, who were unsuspecting until then, also had to emigrate after Hitler's invasion. Together with Braun's older sister, Nelly, they initially stayed with a relative in Paris. The father and sister were supposed to survive the deportation via the Drancy assembly camp and Theresienstadt concentration camp .

Braun's attempt to save his father's practice at Heinestrasse 20, in Vienna's 2nd district, failed, on the one hand because there were anti-Semitic attacks against him as well, and on the other because he was drafted into military service in 1938. At that time, qualifications were more important to the military than racial qualifications, and Braun was elevated to the rank of ensign as a junior doctor. He served as a troop doctor in officer rank in an artillery combat squadron, eventually took care of the entire battalion and was then discharged from the army due to racial laws. Braun was aware of the permanent danger to life and limb. In retrospect, his discharge from military service was life-saving as his unit was wiped out in the Russian campaign. He managed to be conscripted for the pharmaceutical Nordmarkwerke in Hamburg. As a result of the chaos and destruction of the war, he was able to take over an orphaned general medical practice in Marburg an der Lahn , Barfüssertor, in 1944 .

After the end of the war there were no longer any racial laws to prevent a marriage with Margarete Burmester, who came from Kellinghusen . With her he returned to Austria in 1946. First he worked in the general practice in Wiener Neustadt on Wöllersdorferstrasse 27. In 1951, Braun switched to a smaller country practice in Brunn an der Wild in the Waldviertel so that he could devote himself more intensively to practical research . He stayed there until his retirement in 1984. Finally, he and his wife moved to Vienna, where he continued to do research well into old age.

The couple had three children: Rosemarie, Claus Robert and Inge.

Braun died on September 13, 2007. Together with his wife Margret, he found his final resting place at the Vienna Central Cemetery (Evangelical part).



Braun's father and grandfather were both general practitioners. Robert N. Braun wanted to do clinical research. Due to the war, however, he came into general medicine. The key experience for his later life's work was that his university knowledge alone made him feel insufficiently prepared for work in practice. He suspected the necessary knowledge in the experiences of many generations of practitioners. But from a scientific point of view, this knowledge was not present, so that Braun perceived applied medicine as an unprocessed terra incognita. The first case statistics and the observation that old, experienced practitioners, in contrast to young doctors, were immediately able to rank practice cases according to frequency, served Braun as a starting point for exploring new territory.

  • In 1955, at a lecture at the Society of Doctors in Vienna, he presented the "Case Distribution Act" he had observed.
  • In 1957 Braun was accepted into the College of General Practitioners in London.
  • Braun was co-founder and first president of the “International Society for Practically Applied Medicine”, which met for the first time in Vienna in 1959.
  • In 1961 he represented Austria in Edinburgh at a WHO conference on the doctor and his position in society.
  • In 1961 he founded a “Working Group for Research into General Medical Practice - AEA” under the motto “valere quam videri”.
  • In 1964 the “Heidelberg Talk” took place, where high-ranking university professors in Germany conferred with members of this group of practitioners.
  • In 1970 he presented his previous investigations, observations in practice and his findings on the basis of 477 unread practice cases in a "textbook of general medical practice".
  • In the 1973 summer semester he was invited as a visiting professor to the newly established General Medicine Department at the Hannover Medical School.
  • In 1976 the University of Vienna granted him the venia docendi. Braun was the first to qualify as a professor in general medicine. From now until 1990 he offered courses.
  • In 1975 Braun moved into the new doctor's house, built by his medical community in Brunn an der Wild, with support from the state of Lower Austria. The integrated premises for a "Lower Austrian Institute for General Medicine" were handed over to their intended use in 1976. During two to four-week stays, young doctors were introduced to practical and theoretical work there.
  • In 1975 and 1978, respectively, Braun was invited to give guest lectures at New Zealand and Australian universities.
  • In 1979, thanks to the commitment of the general practitioner Oscar Rosowsky, the founder of the SFMG (Société française de médicine générale), the French translation of Braun's textbook was published.
  • In the 1980s in Germany, the politically active general practitioner Frank H. Mader tried again more to get Braun and his work in teaching general medicine.
  • In 1982, Braun devoted himself to the importance of general medicine in a monograph: There must be a branch of medicine that “specializes” in cases without precise diagnosis of the disease and treats it sensibly in a short time with economical means. Both the indispensability and the independence of the function of general medicine have been proven by scientific studies in practice. General medicine is "a supporting pillar in our social security system", i. e. in the health system. Braun's findings led to teachable results that form the basis for a theory of applied medicine that Braun called “occupational theory”. At the universities, general medicine should confidently position itself through theoretical research as well as its own subject-specific training and further education.
  • In 1994, at the practica advanced training event in Bad Orb, the exchange of experience between general practitioners initiated by Braun was installed as a “brown group”.
  • In 2004, in his last published book, he summarized the research results and how they should be built upon. To better understand his discovery, he compared the entire scientific medicine with a sphere: If the one hemisphere represents traditional medical science, which includes all the knowledge that - based on Vesal's anatomical studies - has accumulated over the last 500 years, then lies Opposite it, in the other half of the globe, the young science of applied medicine. It deals with how to cope with all the knowledge about diseases, diagnostics and therapeutics in the professional practice in the care of patients. The entry into this science must come from the distribution of cases, i. H. of the health disorders that people bring to medicine. Braun sees occupational theoretical research in general medicine as a model for relevant research in specialist fields.


  • Criticism of the medical profession and its reform. Sign .: Cod. Ser. n.31505 collector: Han. Austrian National Library (1945 - 1946) (unpublished)
  • Targeted diagnostics in practice. Basics and frequency of illness. Friedrich-Karl Schattauer Verlag, Stuttgart 1957.
  • Fine structure of a general practice. Diagnostic and statistical results. Schattauer, Stuttgart, Friedrich-Karl Schattauer Verlag, Stuttgart 1961.
  • Textbook of general medical practice. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Munich / Berlin / Vienna 1970.
  • Diagnostic programs in general medicine. Urban & Schwarzenberg, Munich / Berlin / Vienna 1976.
  • Pratique, critique et enseignement de la médecine générale. PAYOT-Rivages 1979 and 1997.
  • General medicine - location and significance in medicine. Kirchheim, Mainz 1982, ISBN 978-3-87409-120-6 .
  • General Practice Textbook - Theory, Specialized Language and Practice. Kirchheim, Mainz 1986, ISBN 978-3-87409-123-7 .
  • Scientific work in general medicine. Introduction to the independent research method. Introduction to the independent research method. Springer, Berlin a. a. 1988, ISBN 978-3-540-18480-5 .
  • Healing for medicine. The story of a discovery. Scientific autobiography. Sign .: Cod. Ser. n. 38770 Collector: Han Wien, ÖNB (1991-1992) (unpublished)
  • My case - advanced general medicine. 244 problem cases from practice with comments. Springer-Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg / New York 1994, ISBN 978-3-540-58120-8 .


  • Ashley M Aitken, Robert N. Braun, JMG Fraillon: UNDERSTANDING GENERAL PRACTICE. Printed by The Viktorian Academy for General Practice (conducted under the aegis of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners - Victorian Faculty) 1982.
  • Patrick Landolt-Theus, Harro Danninger, Robert N. Braun: Kasugraphie. Name of the regularly frequent cases in general medicine. Kirchheim, Mainz 1992, ISBN 978-3-87409-194-7 .
  • Robert N. Braun, Frank H Mader: Programmed diagnostics in general medicine. 82 checklists for anamnesis and examination. 5th edition Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York 1995, ISBN 978-3-540-23763-1 .
  • Robert N. Braun, Waltraud Fink, Gustav Kamenski: Applied Medicine - Scientific Basics. Facultas, Vienna 2004, ISBN 978-3-85076-649-4 .
  • Braun Robert N, Waltraud Fink, Gustav Kamenski: Textbook of general medicine - theory, specialist language and practice. Berger, Horn 2007, ISBN 978-3-85028-451-6 .
  • Waltraud Fink, Gustav Kamenski, Dietmar Kleinbichler (editor): Braun Kasugraphie. (Not) one case like the other ... Name and classification of the regularly frequent health disorders in primary care. 3rd edition, reissued and edited, Berger, Horn 2010, ISBN 978-3-85028-491-2 .
  • Berthold Weinrich. Among the employees by Erwin Plöckinger. Lower Austrian Medical Chronicle: History of Medicine and the Doctors of Lower Austria. Möbius, Vienna 1990.
  • Frank Mader (editor): Robert N. Braun pioneer of practical research 80 years. The general practitioner, 1/1994
  • Waltraud Fink, Gustav Kamenski: About pioneers in general medicine. Wien Med Wochenschr, 159: 173-182,2009
  • Waltraud Fink: 10th anniversary of the death of the pioneer in practical research. Robert N. Braun and His Legacy The General Practitioner, 2017; 39 (15)
  • Rudolf Heller: Doctors, Healthcare. In the community chronicle: history of the community Brunn an der Wild. 2010
  • Waltraud Fink. In memoriam: Robert N. Braun - one of our great doctors. DAM, 2017; 7 + 8.
  • Waltraud Fink, Gustav Kamenski G, Martin Konitzer: Diagnostic protocols — A consultation tool still to be discovered. J Eval Clin Pract. 2017.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Bryan Mark Rigg. Hitler's Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military , University Press of Kansas, 2002. ISBN 978-0-7006-1358-8 .
  2. Robert N. Braun. About fundamentally important, previously unknown, laws affecting general morbidity. Vienna. clin. Wschr. 12,1955,215
  3. Editorial. The Renaissance of General Practice in Europe. J Coll Gen Pract, 1960; 3: 271-273
  4. ^ The Heidelberg Conversation. Series of publications for the general practitioner, 1967, issue 2, published by the Professional Association of Practical Doctors in Germany. V. Anton Friday.
  5. ^ Anton Friday. The Heidelberg Conversation. Austrian Doctors Ztg 1968, 23 year 1: 43-83 6.
  6. Robert N. Braun. Where applied medicine stands today or the Semmelweis effect. The general practitioner. 1984, issue 8.
  7. Robert N. Braun. The independence of general practice. Austrian Doctors registered in 1969; 10, 1182-1187