Based on biography of the Russian surgeon Nikolai Ivanovich Pirogov (1810 - 1881). Pirogov lost his father at age 14. He vigorously studied medicine and was qualified as physician in 1828, still only 17 years old. Pirogov continued his studies in Europe and received a chair of surgery at the German University of Dorpat. From 1840 he practiced general surgery in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1851 he invented the full-plaster cast after seeing a working sculptor. During the Crimean War (1854 - 1856) doctor Pirogov was a surgeon in Sevastopol. There he introduced the mass use of anesthetic. His innovative surgical techniques saved many lives. Pirogov promoted equal rights and access to education for women.