Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2017; 65(S 03): S148
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1601046
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Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

An EACTS Former President's Perspective

Martin Grabenwöger
1  Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Hospital Hietzing, Wien, Austria
› Author Affiliations
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Publication History

24 February 2017

24 February 2017

Publication Date:
07 April 2017 (online)

When you think of Friedrich Mohr and his role in cardiac surgery during the past 20 years, one thought will inevitably take possession of your mind: Nobody else in Europe and probably in the whole world influenced the development of cardiac surgery as innovatively and beneficially as he did with the Leipzig Heart Center. This has been entirely due to his dedication to our profession as well as his enthusiastic and loyal team of coworkers, who worked with diligence to make his vision of cardiac surgery a reality.

Although Friedrich Mohr became President of the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS) at the end of his active career, he worked very hard to promote the goals of the society during the past few decades. Live surgery transmissions were arranged from the Leipzig Heart Center for the annual meetings, and these contributed significantly to their success.

The selection of patients and the provision of surgery teams for live surgery during the weekend must have been a major challenge. Friedrich Mohr never mentioned these difficulties. In fact, he was only interested in the quality of the operations. Thousands of surgeons benefited from the live surgery transmissions and had the opportunity to observe specialists performing innovative and delicate operations. I am convinced that these experiences were enormously useful in training upcoming generations of cardiac surgeons.

I had the chance to experience “Fred” Mohr at the Council of the EACTS while he was incoming president, president, and past president. His actions were determined by his clear vision as well as his moderate and straightforward manner of implementing new ideas and programs. In addition, his excellent relationship with our colleagues “across the ocean” strengthened our bonds with sister societies in America and Asia. A great cardiac surgeon and an exceptional human being is leaving the stage, but I am sure he will continue to serve our profession as constructively and beneficially as he has done in the past.