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Arch Hellen Med, 26(2), March-April 2009, 151-159


A historical account of modern hellenic medical diaspora

Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, London, UK

There has been an increasing interest in recent years on the Greek diaspora. Very little is known, however, about the role of Greek physicians and biomedical scientists of the diaspora and their contributions. The physician of King Charles II was Greek and other very well known doctors of the diaspora included Adamantios Korais, pioneer of the Greek Enlightment, Iakovos Pylaρinos early contributor to the immunization of small pox, Constantine von Economo who described the encephalitis lethargica and George Papanikolaou the originator of the “pap-test”. The World Hellenic BioMedical Association was the first structured initiative to bring together the Hellenic BioMedical Diaspora in contemporary times. The First World Congress of the Hellenic Medical Diaspora was organised in Athens in 1990, in collaboration with the Athens Medical Society. Since then eight more World Congresses were organised in Athens, Cyprus and New York with the participation of many biomedical colleagues from Greece and many other countries all over the World. The Hellenic Medical Journal was also publishes for a while as well as two newsletters. This article presents the activities of the World Hellenic BioMedical Association from 1990 to 2008 and comments on the strengths and weaknesses of the overall endeavour.

Key words: History, Modern hellenic medical diaspora.

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