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Monument to Gen. major. Prof. Ivan Kopchev

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Ivan Kostov Kopchev stands as a significant figure memorialized in a monument located along the central alley in front of Sofia’s Military Medical Academy. Born on November 3, 1915, in the village of Butan in Oryahovo, Kopchev led an impactful life as a Bulgarian doctor and military officer.

He embarked on his academic journey by graduating from high school in Vratsa in 1935, following which he completed his medical studies at Sofia University in 1944. His medical career began as a resident doctor in Oryahovo and later advanced to the surgical department of the General Military Hospital in Sofia.

Kopchev pursued specialization in Czechoslovakia and subsequently joined the staff of the Military Medical Academy, ultimately becoming the head of the Department of Military Traumatology. His dedication and expertise led him to extend medical assistance beyond Bulgaria’s borders. In 1949, he provided medical aid to Greek communist partisans in Mount Gramos. From 1952 to 1954, he served as a surgeon in Korea as part of a medical brigade. Later, between 1961 and 1962, he contributed his surgical skills in Algeria during the conflict between local Algerians and the French colonial authorities.

An accomplished academic, Kopchev defended his thesis in 1959, progressing to the roles of associate professor in 1964 and full professor in 1966. His contributions extended beyond medical practice, with over 120 scientific publications and communications reflecting his dedication to advancing medical knowledge.

With an illustrious career, Ivan Kostov Kopchev held the esteemed position of Chief Traumatologist of the Bulgarian army, attaining the rank of Major General in the medical service in 1974. His legacy endures through his significant contributions to medicine and the Bulgarian military until his passing on April 10, 1980, in Sofia.

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