3 Famous Italian Doctors

Italian doctors have been known to be the best all over the world. These physicians are among the most prominent in their fields of specialty. Most of them may or may not be alive but they are all respected Italian physicians.


Abella was fondly known as Abella of Salerno or of Castellomata was a physician in the mid-14th century. She studied in the Salerno school of medicine and also lectured at the same school. She was born around 1830. She taught on standard medical procedures, bile, women’s health and nature of the medical school. The field of embryology was her major specialty. She made two publications; De atrabile which is on black bile and De natura seminis humani on the nature of the seminal fluid. She is considered as one of the four women to have practiced medicine, taught medicine and wrote treatises which placed her into a group of women known Mulieres Salernitanae or women of Salerno.

Aldo Castellani

He was an Italian pathologist and bacteriologist born in around 1877 at Florence, Italy who worked in Bonn and later joined the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He explained the source and mode of transmission of sleeping sickness and had the primary work on bacteriology and parasitic diseases of the skin. He was appointed Bacteriologist at the central laboratory for the government of Ceylon where he furthered research in mycology and bacteriology giving descriptions on new species of intestinal bacilli.

Aldo Castellani also envisioned the test of absorption of serological identification of closely allied organisms. He was involved in the World War 1 as a member of the inter-Allied Sanitary Commission in Serbia and Macedonia. When Castellani went to London to work in the ministry of pensions as a consultant, he also started lecturing at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on mycology and mycotic diseases. He did establish a consulting practice in Harley Street. In World War 2 he became the chief of the Italian Army’s medical service.

Castellani founded the International Society of Dermatology in which he was the president. At the State University of Louisiana and Royal University of Rome he was a professor of tropical medicine. He ended his life as a professor at the Lisbon’s Institute of Tropical medicine where he died in around 1971. Castellani’s paint is sometimes used to treat fungal skin infections.

Carlo Urbani

Dr. Urbani was born in around 1956 in Castelplanio, Italy. He studied medicine at the University of Ancona and later specialized in infectious and tropical diseases at the University of Messina where he earned a postgraduate degree in tropical parasitology.

For the first time, the transmission of Schistosoma mansoni was documented by Dr. Urbani after he went to the Maldives and tracked the epidemiology of the hookworm and also trained laboratory technicians to test for worms. He also worked to control the effects of a parasitic worm called Schistosoma mekongi which was responsible for diseases like intestinal schistosomiasis in Cambodia.

Dr. Urbani is considered to be the first person to discover SARS as a highly contagious disease. He warned the World Health Organization (WHO) of the deadly disease when he was working as an infectious expert in Vietnamese capital, Hanoi and as a result many lives were saved. Unfortunately he was infected by the virus himself and died from complications of the condition.


In history, there are more than a hundred famous Italian doctors and as a result there is no proper order of the most famous Italian doctors of all times. What stands out on these Italian doctors is that they made immense contributions to the field of health and saved a lot of lives during their time. Most of their inventions and discoveries are still used up to date – take a look on italian culture and customs vs american culture.

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