In Bulgarian “Maichin Dom” means “Mothers’ Home”
The idea of establishing a specialized hospital in obstetrics and gynecology belonged to Princess Maria Luisa, who in 1883 decided to fund its building. The construction began in 1896. The official opening ceremony of the first specialized hospital in obstetrics and gynecology “Maichin Dom “Princess Maria Luisa” was on November 19th, 1903. The ceremony was attended by Tzar Ferdinand, members of Parliament, diplomats, cabinet ministers, clergymen and citizens of Sofia.
The first manager of the hospital was Dr. Dimiter Stamatov.
At the beginning three departments with a total of 40 beds were opened in the new building. Half of them (20) were for obstetric patients and the other 20 - for gynecological patients. Later Dr. Stamatov realized the need for an independent infectious diseases department and managed to open it as soon as 1906. The delivery room was small – with one bed only. It was connected to a small OR which neighbored the big OR. Each room in the hospital was supplied with a water tank with a volume of 3 cubic meters. The hospital was lit with electricity. There was enough good bed linen and it was remarkably clean in the building. Dr. Stamatov was the first to start the structural and functional development of the hospital, which offered quite modern health services for its time.
The hospital embraced the aseptic technique under sterile conditions rather than the antiseptic one. It offered 22 types of obstetric surgical procedures, among them 2 vaginal and 1 abdominal C-section operations. Thirty-three types of gynecological operations – both vaginal and abdominal, were performed including hysterectomies, fistula surgery, etc.
There were plenty of medicines in the pharmacy. The laboratory performed urine chemical analysis and microscopic tests. A library was opened and it subscribed to 4 French, 2 German and 1 Russian ob-gyn scientific periodicals. Three-month practical courses for medical doctors were organized. The participants had the opportunity to choose between courses of surgical gynecology, obstetrics, outpatient treatment and other gynecological subjects
Dr. Stamatov was trying hard to make the municipality lay water supply in the neighborhood and in the hospital and transform the deserted field in front of the building into a garden – and that finally was done. Together with the efforts to improve the facilities, efforts were made also for improving the quality of the treatment process which was becoming more and more complex.
On July 17th, 1907, Dr. Stamatov left Maichin Dom “Princess Maria Luisa” to study further abroad and was succeeded by Dr. Asen Petrov. On December 19th, 1907, Dr. Metodi Slavchev became the head of the hospital. He reorganized it and further improved the treatment process.
Dr. Slavchev was the first in Bulgaria to introduce the Pfannenstiel incision, the American Segond hysterectomy, the Wertheim operation for cervical carcinoma. For its time this was a remarkable success, since the diagnosis and the treatment of cervical carcinoma were of a very poor quality.In 1918 the Medical Faculty of the Sofia University was founded.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
In 1918 the Medical Faculty of the Sofia University was founded. Later, in 1920, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology was founded and that set the beginning of a new era in the development of the ob-gyn healthcare in Bulgaria. From that moment on the specialized hospital “Maichin dom” became a teaching facility of the newly-founded Department. The first head of the department was Academician Georgi Ermolaevich Rein, who remained in that position from July 9, 1920, to September 14, 1925.He had been a professor at the Medical Faculty in Kiev and was a man of great culture, with a lot of clinical experience, talented teacher and extremely good scientist. Although already in his 70s, he established the solid foundations of all the activities at the first ob-gyn department and clinic and did it wisely, skillfully and with great love for his work.
Prof. D. Stamatov - patriarch of Bulgarian obstetrics and gynecology
On October 21st, 1922 Dr. D. Stamatov was elected an associate professor at the department. He raised the level of the department, the hospital and the ob-gyn healthcare to such a level that he could be rightfully considered the founding father of the Bulgarian obstetrics and gynecology.For the next 20 years the only one ob-gyn clinic in the country, headed by Prof. Stamatov, became a recognized center of qualified ob-gyn services and a teaching hospital for students and doctors. It had 160 beds. There were between 1800 and 2400 births annually. The gynecological patients were between 600 and 1000. The outpatient examinations were over 10 000, the obstetric operations – about 250, and the gynecological ones - 650. The clinic offered all surgical interventions performed in Western European hospitals.
During that period, despite of the limited resources and insufficient personnel, Prof. Stamatov managed to organize diagnostics, treatment and teaching activities which met the standards of the modern Western-European clinics at that time. He also managed to establish his own style of work at the department – or in other words to create the Mother’s Home ob-gyn school and to instill in his colleagues the feelings of duty and love for mothers, children and patients. Prof. Stamatov’s main doctrine was the sensible conservatism, summarized in his favorite sentence that “Bulgarian mothers give birth spontaneously”, which translated into doctor’s language, means “expectative management of birth with active observation and readiness to intervene”.
Reliable ob-gyn services at any time and for everybody – this is one more of Stamatov’s principles, which is still respected today.He retired in 1942 and handed over the leadership to his protégé and deserving successor Prof. Ivan J. Ivanov. That was the end of the second stage in the development of the department.
The department after the Second World War (1944-1976)
Prof. Ivan J. Ivanov graduated the medical school in Gratz and was a typical adherent of German medicine. He developed the legacy left by his mentor and it wasn’t easy for him because he had to manage the department in the hard times between two historical periods.It was his duty to evacuate the clinic to the village of Dolni Dabnik during the bombings and he had even the hardest task to move it back to its ruined original building after the war. The personnel made heroic efforts to rebuild the clinic quickly. They set up 160 beds for adult patients and 55 for newborn children. After September 9, 1944, the hospital of course was no longer called “Princess Maria Luisa”.
During the next five years the department was headed by Prof. Stamatov’s protégé – Prof. Georgi Boyadjiev. He graduated from the Medical School in Naples and in Italy he developed his taste for culture, literature and art.He had remarkable intellect, very broad knowledge and was a good speaker and a lecturer. He was very popular among students for his clinical lectures on specific cases. As a head of the hospital and the department he stayed faithful to Stamatov’s school. Prof. Boyadjiev was succeeded by Prof. Georgi Toshev. From 1958 to 1977 the position was held by Prof. Iliya Shtraklev, who should be given his due for the planning and the building of the new ”Maichin Dom”.
The next period in the development of the hospital started on May 27, 1976 when the clinic was moved to the new building on the territory of Alexandrovska Hospital. A decree by the State Council of the Republic of Bulgaria from 1972 postulated the merging of three institutions: the former “Maichin Dom” hospital, the former Scientific and Research Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology of “Tina Kirkova” Hospital and the postgraduate ob-gyn department of The Third City Hospital “Mara Maleeva”. The new structure was named Scientific Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology and became a part of the Medical Academy and a natural leader in the development of the modern ob-gyn healthcare in Bulgaria.
These were the heads of the hospital during this period:
Prof. Georgi Stoimenov (1977-1980)
Prof. Bozhil Vassilev (1980-1981)
Prof. Eftimia Svetoslavova (1981-1984)
Prof. Kiril Mirkov (1984-1987)
Prof. Atanas Atanasov (1988-1989)
Prof. Ilko Karagyozov (1989-1993)
Assoc. Prof. Alexander Yarakov (1994-1998)
Assoc. Prof. Nikolay Doganov (1998-2009)
Metodi Yankov, DM (03-09 2009)
Prof.Dr. Viktor Zlatkov, PhD (2009 – 2016)
After the social and the economic changes in the country the Scientific Institute “Maichin Dom” was initially transformed into a State University Hospital in 1993. Since February 18, 2000 it was officially given the name “Specialized Hospital for Active Treatment in Obstetrics and Gynecology “Maichin Dom”.
At the end of this review of the long history of “Maichin Dom” it can be summarized that despite the changes of political regimes and people, despite the reorganizations and the changing medical doctrines, it is the name of the hospital - “Maichin Dom” - that has never been changed. In Bulgarian it means “Mothers’ Home”. This name is a symbol of the public recognition of the sacred and humane activity of the hospital and its duty to mothers and children.