He practiced in Danzig after studying at Berlin and Leipzig. In recognition of his studies on malarial fever and his work, Handbuch der historisch-geographischen Pathologie, he was in 1863 made professor at Berlin. In 1873, he was a member of the German Cholera Commission, studied the conditions of Posen and West Prussia, and published a report (1874). He studied the plague in Astrakhan in 1879 and 1880, and in the latter year wrote a report to his Government.
- Die grossen Volkskrankheiten des Mittelalters, a revision of Hecker's collected writings, 1865
- Jahresbericht über die Fortschritte und Leistungen der Medizin, with Rudolf Virchow, 1866 et seq.
- Die Meningitis Cerebro-spinalis Epidemica, 1866
- Geschichte der Augenheilkunde, 1877
- Handbuch der historisch-geographischen Pathologie, 3 Vols., 1881-1886
- Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Ärzte aller Zeit, editor, 6 Vols., 1884-1888
- Geschichte der medizinischen Wissenschaften in Deutschland, 1893
- "Review of Handbuch der historisch-geographischen Pathologie von Dr. August Hirsch and Handbook of Geographical and Historical Pathology by Dr. August Hirsch, trans. by Charles Creighton". The Quarterly Review. 164: 193–217. January 1887.
- Julius Pagel (1905), "Hirsch, August", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 50, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 361–363