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Semmelweis University Gallery


Melly, József


(b. Budapest, 9th November, 1893 – d. Budapest, 21st June, 1962)

Dean: 1947/48

His father, dr. Béla Melly, was president of the capital’s orphans’ court and József inherited his social sensibility from him. He took his school-leaving examination at the Secondary School of the Reformed Church in Budapest, then enrolled at the Medical Faculty in Budapest. He was enlisted in the army in spring 1913, then was called up for military service a year later. He participated in the world war from its very beginning until his severe injury in February 1916. One leg was amputated from the thigh but he survived and recovered. After his return, he continued his studies interrupted by the war. He obtained his degree on 7th June, 1917. He immediately went into service of the capital where he worked until the end of 1945. He was elected district doctor, then medical officer by the general assemby of the capital in 1921 and 1923, respectively. He passed his internal medicine specialty examination in 1924. At the same time, he worked at the Institute of Pathology (under professor Ferenc Tangl), the 2nd Clinic of Internal Medicine and the Lawcourt of Pest county, too. He was granted habilitation as privatdozent in health care management on 7th June, 1926. He was involved in a variety of courses, e.g. health visitor courses of the National Stefánia Association, factory nurse courses of the National Social Service Institute and at the Faculty of Economy. He was member of the National Public Health Board, the National Statistical Board, the Hungarian Public Provisioning Board, the Medical Association, the Medical Society, the Medical Circle, MONE and the Medical Chamber. After 1945, he worked in the health office for a short time, then led the university department of the Ministry of Religion and Public Education from 1st January, 1946 for nine months, in order to restore mainly universities and museums.

He was appointed professor of the Institute of Public Health at the Medical Faculty on 31st May, 1946 which had to be re-established out of nothing. After the communist take-over, he was forced to retire at the age of 56 for political reasons in December 1948. He worked as school doctor in Józsefváros from February 1952. At the same time, he held further education courses for school doctors and courses for health visitors. He was rehabilitated in 1956, so he was reinstated in his university post on 1st October. He returned to scientific work, as well as to professional public life.

He was member of the Health Sciences Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, board member of the Hungarian Society of Hygiene Experts, president of the Health Sciences Department of Budapest and Pest county, as well as the Scientific and Health Care Committee of the Executive Board of Danube Bend.

He helped the editorial board of the journals “Népegészségügy” (National Health Care), Eészségtudomány” (Health Sciences) and “Demográfia” (Demography), and was elected member of the “Union Internationale pour l’étude scientifique de la population”, too. He served as dean of the Medical Faculty in the academic year of 1947/48, shortly before his removal.

(Major works: Medical conditions of pursuing a trade. Bp., 1931.; Social and economic conditions of doctors in Budapest. Bp., 1931.; Health care of poor patients. Bp., 1938.; Obligatory medical examination before marriage. /co-author Miklós Székely/. Bp., 1942.; Life and work of József Fodor /co-author Géza Hahn/. Bp., 1965.)