Friends, former and present team members and guests gathered for a symposium, organised by Phoniatrist Josef Sopko and Voice Therapist Mrs. Esther Walde, to the sixtyeth birthday of Mihael Podvinec, Chief of the local ORL Department.
The programme was very varied and presented in-depth studies: the CEO of the hospital, orthopaedic surgeon G. Ruflin, developed a vision of the hospital’s future, describing a series of imminent changes of a fast-track development in the Swiss health service. The Aarau hospital has allready implemented a number of these changes in a pioneering effort. Philippe Monnier, of the Lausanne Department, reviewed 30 years of experience in the treatment of tracheal stenosis, demonstrating beautifully how acribic and persistent effort may lead to significant progress. He did not miss to mention which problems and perspectives remain for the following generations to solve, inciting the young to be persistent and creative. The President of ORL-BAL, Rudolf Probst, analysed the personality of the host, crediting him with a missionary engagement in matters of training, reputed to be somewhat authoritarian, but allways well-meant. The picture of a wise old crocodile rounded up his lecture, and was acclaimed by the trainees present – and also by the host, who promised to maintain this style. In a very moving gesture, the Basel team members presented Podvinec with a check for 5.000 Swiss francs as a contribution to the activities of the Society of Friends of ORL. Ranko Dergenc, President of the Serbian ORL Society, after introducing with a history of our specialty in Serbia, spoke on recent developments in his country, mentioned the different supporting projects by our organisation with gratitude and stressed the necessity of a countinuing support ot the SOF. André Arnoux, Associate at the Aarau Department, reviewed a 10-year experience in partial surgery of the larynx for malignancies, which he introduced and developed here. He proved that great efforts are allways rewarded, as the results showed a sizeable progress in comparison to formerly practiced classical methods, both in the oncological sense and the quality of life of the patients. Finally, Josef Sopko spoke on the fascinations of different voice registers to the human sense of hearing. A formidable speaker, he truly fascinated the auditorium, showing the first animated computerized analysis of voice formation of the larynx and by illustrating his point with musical examples of famous singers. A cello soloist concerto ended the symposium. Amog the present were Emeritus Professors Werner Wey and Bernhard Kellerhals, as well as Mrs. Renate Pfaltz, widow of former Basel Chairman Professor C.R. Pfaltz.