Mestre Johan, a German by birth, was one of the earliest European physicians to have arrived in Goa. He accompanied Pedro Alvares Carbral in 1500 to the country. He is said to have settled in Goa and married a local girl.
Goncalo Fernandes, in 1503, was transported to Goa by Afonso de Albuquerque during an expedition. Fernandes was relegated the duty of a head physician in Hospital da Santa Cruz where he rendered medical services to the wounded and ailing patients arriving from Portugal.
A German priest physician, Father Joham was transferred from Cananore to Goa by Albuquerque who held him in high esteem. In Goa he was appointed as a physician in the Royal Hospital.
Cosme Saraiva, another eminent physician came to India in 1534 with the expedition of Martim Affonso da Souza. Years of practise in the hospitals of Goa earned with name, fame and experience in his field. In 1541 St Francis Xaviers came to Goa to preach the Goans. Later he fell ill and died in Sancian, China on December 3, 1552. After two years in 1554 when his body was brought from China to Goa a miraculous incident took place. Even after a lapse of two years his body was found to be quite fresh. A formal medical examination was suggested by the people to unveil the secrets behind it. Doctor Cosme Saraiva was then called for examining the body.
Dimas Bosque, a native of Valencia de Alcantara was one of the doctors mentioned in d'Orta's Colloquios. He arrived in Goa in 1558. His skills, experience and expertise earned him much prominence. He is known to have imported goods from Portugal which he sold them in Goa for profit. He travelled in different parts of India and gathered different valuables which he sold in Portugal. His business helped him amass great wealth. He purchased the island of Santa Cruz near Mormugao. in 1570 he went back to Portugal.
Dona Juliana was the only woman physician of that time. Upon her arrival from Portugal she practised medicine in Goa. Later she served in the court of Emperor Akbar where she commanded great respect and esteem. She married a French officer at his court, John Philip Bourbon at his recommendation.
Nicolau Manucci, a Venetian, arrived in India in 1656 and visited Goa twice. He soon began a successful practice which aroused considerable envy among other physicians who denounced him to the Holy Office as a wizard, devoid of any medical diploma.
Dejected about the course of action against him Manucci left Goa in the guise of a Carmelite monk and settled in northern India where he was better appreciated and his skills better valued. With time he became the personal physician to Dara Sikoh, eldest son of Emperor Shah Jahan.
The admirable contribution of these physicians and others such as Mestre Jeronimo Dias and Mestre Gil Oria augmented the growth and development of medicine in Goa.
(Last Updated on : 17-01-2013)
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