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 22 March 2018

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I was born in Baden-Baden in Germany in 1939 before World War II and educated in an English-influenced Boarding School. After my military service I started my medical studies in 1961 at Heidelberg University, continued in Wurzburg and Vienna and received my MD at the University of Munich.

A great love brought me to Sweden in 1970. After an additional internship at several Swedish district hospitals from the south to the polar circle, I joined a wonderful active GI-team at the Sahlgrens University Hospital in Gothenburg where I met my friend Reinhold Stockbruegger, later Professor of Maastricht, another German immigrant.

We had a marvelous time during the seventies and early eighties. I specialized in internal medicine and gastroenterology. In 1981 I defended my thesis on the selectivity of antimuscarinic compounds and was later appointed Associate Professor of internal medicine at the University of Gothenburg.

In 1983 I left the GI-team and started up my own GI-unit at Lundby Hospital in Gothenburg and became Head of the Department of Medicine. This new job was very challenging. It was there where I was able to do a lot of early studies on Helicobacter pylori, starting in 1986.

In 1984 I worked for some months as a consultant in Saudi Arabia and became interested in tropical medicine, In 1990 I took a sabbatical and studied at the New York Medical College for a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Health.

After 16 years of practical patient work I found a new challange by going back to the roots of internal medicine. My place is that of a general internist at a district hospital deep in the forests of Värmland. Of course I head the Endoscopy Unit - beside doing general internal medicine which means a little bit of everything.

I enjoy my new life. Still I am engaged in clinical research. So in the year 2000 I called for a Nordic-Baltic Workshop on H. pylori at Nygård Manor, my new home.

What made you decide to become a gastroenterologist?
In 1968 when I graduated, my father was ill with what we later called chronic active hepatitis. At that time therapy was not well established and this forced my interest in gastroenterology and hepatology.
Who was the teacher you admired the most?
Birger Hernar, a general internist at one of the district hospitals. He was a great humanist and a real 'bed-side doctor'.
Which research paper influenced you the most?
Barry Marshall's original paper (Lancet June 4, 1983).
What is the most important fact that you have discovered?
That research is an important part of medicine and that clinical 'bed-side' work is the jewel of our profession.
What is the biggest mistake that you have made?
That I did not recognize my second wife years before we got married!
What is your unfulfilled ambition?
To conduct a symphony orchestra.
What is your greatest regret?
That I did not have enough time for my children.
How do you relax?
In front of one of the open fires at my home Nygård Manor with my wife, a glass of red wine and opera music around.
What are your favorite sports?
Skiing and golf.
What is the best place of the world?
My home.
What is your favourite film?
I have two; “The Unbearable Lightness of Being" after Milan Kundera’s book, and "Three Colours: Blue” by Kieslowski.
What car do you drive?
Saab Turbo.
What is your best electronic toy?
My Bang & Olufsen stereo.
What book are you reading at the moment?
”Ich will Zeugnis ablegen bis zum letzten”. Diaries 1933-45 by Viktor Klemperer, a German Jew who survived in Germany.
Why did you get in involved in
Because electronic media gets us together and Roy Pounder’s media was the ideal link.

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