Juliano Moreira: Illuminating the Path in Psychiatry and Social Reform

OV Digital Desk

Juliano Moreira (6 January 1872 – 2 May 1933) was a Brazilian psychiatrist, often considered the pioneer of psychoanalysis in Brazil. He was the first Brazilian university professor to cite and use psychoanalytic theory in the teaching of medicine.

Life and Career

Juliano Moreira was born on 6 January 1872 in Salvador, Brazil to a slave mother. As a result of his exceptional intelligence, Moreira was admitted to the Bahia School of Medicine when he was only 13 years old. In 1896, he was appointed professor of psychiatry at the University of Bahia while still a teenager.

In order to study other countries’ approaches to mental illness, Moreira turned his attention to the treatment of mental illness. As a result of his newfound knowledge, he was appointed to run a national hospital for patients suffering from mental illnesses in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1903. Over the course of nearly three decades in the position, he introduced sweeping reforms in order to provide patient care based on a more humanistic and scientific approach. In 1903, he co-authored a law that required humane treatment for people suffering from mental illness.

Moreira died in Petrópolis on 2 May 1933 from tuberculosis while being treated in a sanatorium.

Award and Legacy

To honor Moreira’s legacy, a hospital in his hometown of Salvador has renamed the Juliano Moreira Hospital in the mid-’30s.  A psychiatric colony near Rio de Janeiro was named after him. On 6 January 2021, Google Doodle celebrated Juliano Moreira’s 149th birthday.

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