Gertrud Schachenmann

Gertrud Dina Schachenmann (1910 – 1997) was a Swiss pediatrician.

First president of the Paediatric Society of Zürich, and physician-in-chief to all nursing schools in Switzerland

Eponymously remembered for her description with David Weyhe Smith (1926-1981), and Karl Theiler (1920–2007) as Smith-Theiler-Schachenmann syndrome in 1966

  • Born December 18, 1910 in Schaffhausen
  • 1938 – MD, University of Zurich
  • 1938 – First assistant at the Kinderspital in Zürich to Guido Fanconi (1892-1979)
  • 1939 – Returned home to lead the medical department Kantonsspital Schaffhausen as the male physicians were deployed into military service
  • 1943 – Assistant physician Kinderspital, Zürich
  • 1945-1949 – Paediatrician in Schaffhausen
  • 1950 – Chief physician at the nursing school in Zürich
  • 1961 – First president of the Paediatric Society of Zürich, and physician-in-chief to all nursing schools in Switzerland
  • 1971 – Resigned from the position of chief physician and decided to take 2 years to specialise in managing children with developmental problems such as cerebral palsy.
  • 1973 – Private specialist practice in Oberhellau
  • Died January 12, 1997

Medical Eponyms

Smith-Theiler-Schachenmann syndrome (1966)

A developmental disorder affecting both sexes, characterized by severe costovertebral malformations (segmentation of the ribs and fusion of their dorsal ends to the vertebral bodies with a bell-shaped thorax), mental deficiency; and orofacial defects, mainly micrognathia. Inheritance is autosomal recessive. First described by David Weyhe Smith (1926-1981), Karl Theiler (1920–2007), and Schachenmann

A unique pattern of developmental defects of supporting structures was found in a male who died of respiratory insufficiency 8 hours after birth. Besides redundant skin, severe micrognathia, and malformed tracheal cartilages, there was a most unusual rib-gap defect. No organized rib tissue was present between the posterior ossified rib and the ventral cartilaginous portion. The posterior rib is considered to be o/somite origin, but there is uncertainty whether the ventral rib is a direct extension of the posterior rib or arises in situ from mesenchyme of lateral plate origin. The rib-gap defect favors the latter hypothesis.

Smith, Theiler, and Schachenmann 1966

Major Publications


Graduated from Southampton Medical School in 2017 with BMBS. Working in Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Emergency Department in Perth, Australia.

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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