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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 GastroHep.com?
- Because electronic media gets us together and Roy Pounder’s media was the