In memory of Othmar Schubiger: 1942-2017
On the 27th of March 2017 the honorary member and long-standing former member of the executive committe of the ESNR, Dr. Othmar Schubiger passed away after a 10 years fight against his aggressive disease. Othmar Schubiger was a dedicated neuroradiologist and contributor to the development of the ESNR.
Othmar Schubiger was born in 1942 in Degersheim, a village near St-Gallen in Switzerland. His father was a country general practitioner, a circumstance which influenced him to study medicine. After finishing his medical school at the University of Zürich in 1969, he became a resident at the University Hospital of Zürich and trained consecutively one year in pathology, radiology and general surgery. Based on these experiences he decided to specialize in radiology. During his training he was impressed by the pioneering work of the microneurosurgeon, Prof. Gazi M. Yasargil and of the otologist and pioneer skull base surgeon, Prof. Ugo Fisch. This experience led him to the decision to specialize in neuroradiology. After an additional year of training in Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medecine as was the custom in these years, he settled as a Senior physician in Neuroradiology at the University Hospital of Zurich. During the following years he followed several one month visiting fellowships in different neuroradiological departments in Europe and the USA such as those of Prof. René Djindjan in Paris, Prof.Jacqueline Vignaud in Paris and Prof. Hans Newton in San Francisco. During his training he experienced the transition of the classic invasive neuroradiology consisting of pneumoencephalography, cisternography, myelography and cerebral angiography by direct puncture techniques to modern neuroradiology brought about by the introduction of computed tomography in the 1970’s.
In 1980 he accepted the invitation to become Chief Physician of Neuroradiology in the Cantonal Hospital of Aarau, Switzerland and in 1986 he was finally installed as Chief physician of the Neuroradiological and Radiological Institute of the AMI-Klinik Im Park that later became Hirslanden-Klinik Im Park in Zürich, where he stayed until his retirement in the year 2013.
Othmar devoted his entire professional life to his beloved field, neuroradiology including head and neck radiology. His special scientific interests were the neuroimaging diagnosis of sellar tumors, spinal degenerative diseases, intracranial aneurysms and otological neuroimaging. In these topics he published important papers.
He was, together with Peter Huber, Ernst Wilhel Radue and Anton Valavanis founding member of the Swiss Society of Neuroradiology, where he served several offices as treasurer, president and past-president. Based on his special interest in ENT and particularly otological imaging he was also founding member of the European Society of Head and Neck Radiology. In addition, he was full member of the German, Austrian, European and American Societies of Neuroradiology and he considered it as his duty to attend almost all annual meetings of these societies. He was particularly interested in the further growth and development of the ESNR, which culminated in his election in 1993 as member of the ESNR ececutive committe in the office of treasurer, a duty which he fulfilled with a high sense of responsibility until 2006. In recognition of his accomplishments he was elected in 2009 Honorary Member of the ESNR and in 2013 Honorary Member of the Swiss Society of Neuroradiology.
The European neuroradiological community and particularly the ESNR and the Swiss Society of Neuroradiology lose a great supporter of neuroradiology, a colleague who was a true friend, a modest person and a real gentleman.
Anton Valavanis, M.D.
Professor and Chairman
Department of Neuroradiology
Director, Clinical Neuroscience Center
University Hospital of Zurich
CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland