Esteemed scientist, talented academic teacher and prominent surgeon – Prof. Zdzislaw Kieturakis has become the patron of the Pesa Jazz Duo tram with side number 1082. The initiator of the project was Andrzej Stelmasiewicz – councilor of the City of Gdańsk. A ceremony organized on November 25 this year, on the 118th anniversary of the Professor’s birthday, was attended, among others, by Aleksandra Dulkiewicz – Mayor of Gdańsk, Agnieszka Owczarczak – Chairwoman of the Gdańsk City Council, Prof. Michal Markuszewski – Vice-Rector for Science of the Medical University of Gdańsk, Prof. Stanisław Hać as a member of the Board of the Gdańsk Branch of the Society of Polish Surgeons, Prof. Jarosław Kobiela – acting head of the Department of General Surgery, and students of our University: Anna Bocheńska – president of the Gdańsk branch of IFMSA-Poland, Jakub Deleżuch from the University Student Government of the MUG and Maria Renke – chairwoman of the Board of the Student Scientific Society of the MUG.
Professor Kieturakis undeniably belonged to the group of those who influenced Polish science in the most significant and tangible way. He was one of the representatives of the distinguished Stefan Batory University in Vilnius, to whose academic tradition our School refers. For years, Vilnius University was an important center of Polish culture and science, a forge of talents and great minds, and its outstanding professors formed the framework of the scientific and didactic staff of the medical school being formed in post-war Gdańsk.
In Vilnius, he completed his medical studies and began working at the Surgical Clinic. His promising academic career was interrupted by the outbreak of war and the closure of the University by the Lithuanian authorities. After the war, he ended up in Gdańsk, where he quickly confirmed his medical skills and unparalleled surgical talent. In 1949, he was entrusted with organizing and then heading the Third Department of Surgery, which quickly became one of the most modern medical, teaching, and scientific research institutions.
– The professor was a true visionary, pioneering many new methods of treating ulcers and cancer. He was the first in Poland to implant an electric pacemaker – said Prof. Michal Markuszewski, Vice-Rector for Science at the MUG – This is a special day also for the entire Medical University of Gdańsk, which is one of the best universities in Poland, and certainly the best medical university. This university is also his legacy.
As President Dulkiewicz pointed out, this is the 75th time that a Gdańsk tram has been named after a deserving patron.
– Professor Zdzislaw Kieturakis is a special and very Gdańsk person. He was not only an outstanding physician, practitioner, and scientist but, very importantly, he left behind heirs to his wisdom. I am glad that so many young doctors, but also the family of Prof. Kieturakis appeared at our ceremony. This is an expression of kind remembrance on the one hand, and gratitude on the other – stressed Mayor Aleksandra Dulkiewicz.
Agnieszka Owczarczak, chairwoman of the Gdańsk City Council, also spoke about the achievements of Prof. Kieturakis.
– Naming the tram after Prof. Kieturakis is an appreciation of his achievements, but also an emphasis on raising awareness and maintaining awareness that we owe the reconstruction of the Main City from the ruins, the reconstruction of science, culture, industry, and the economy to people from Vilnius – noted Chairwoman Agnieszka Owczarczak. – It was their aspiration to build their lives anew here that resulted in the fact that today we can boast of thriving universities, we can admire the historic buildings of the Main City, and we can be proud of the fact that Gdańsk is seen around the world as a modern city, a city of open-minded and courageous people who are not afraid to fight for the most important values, such as freedom, equality and the rule of law.
Representing the Gdańsk branch of the Society of Polish Surgeons, Prof. Hać, who is employed daily at the Department of General, Endocrine and Transplant Surgery at the Gdańsk Medical University, recalled Prof. Kieturakis’ influence on the surgical community, felt despite the passage of years.
– We felt the spirit of Prof. Kieturakis while working at the hospital in the Lower Town. Although we did not have the opportunity to meet him personally, we feel that his spirit exists in us and is present with us wherever we work – explained Prof. Stanislaw Hać.
Video coverage of the ceremony was prepared by the gdańsk.pl.
Photo: Grzegorz Mehring/www.gdansk.pl and Joanna Śliwińska/MUG