gms | German Medical Science

GMS Interdisciplinary Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery DGPW

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Plastische und Wiederherstellungschirurgie (DGPW)

ISSN 2193-8091

Prof. Dr. med. Urs Heim


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  • corresponding author Andreas H. H. Tiemann - Department for Septic and Reconstructive Surgery, Clinic for Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery, BG-Kliniken Bergmannstrost, Halle, Germany
  • author Ralf H. Gahr - Präsidium der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Plastische und Wiederherstellungschirurgie e. V. (DGPW); Traumazentrum, Klinikum "St. Georg" Leipzig gGmbH, Leipzig, Germany

GMS Interdiscip Plast Reconstr Surg DGPW 2013;2:Doc10

doi: 10.3205/iprs000030, urn:nbn:de:0183-iprs0000300

Veröffentlicht: 27. August 2013

© 2013 Tiemann et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



On July 25, 2013 Prof. Dr. med. Urs Heim passed away. With him one of the grand personalities of European trauma and orthopedic surgery left us. His work and his aura went far beyond the borders of his native country Switzerland.

Urs Heim (Figure 1 [Fig. 1]) was born on April 4, 1924 in Zurich. After attending school in Switzerland and France he started his studies in the field of human medicine in the 40s of the 20th century. Years of privation, a time of social and political unrest. In 1949 he finished his studies and started his career as a medical doctor.

Already the early years were characterised by a phenomenon that accompanied Urs Heim through his complete life: To think outside the box in order to see the bigger picture. Asked for his special fields he named later: Experimental surgery, internal medicine, surgery, urology, traumatology, medical history ... Even when he already was representative of another famous protagonist of European traumatology, Prof. Dr. M. Allgöwer, he found the time to become a specialist in urology.

From the beginning of the 70s of the 20th century his work was more and more determined by his duties within the AO. Initially on national niveau, later on the international level. At the end he represented the AO International as president between 1988 and 1993.

The numerous (honorary) memberships in well known national and international scientific societies would break the mould of this obituary. Nevertheless one thing is obvious: His person, his personality, his knowledge and his advice have always been highly coveted.

The books published by Urs Heim have been considered to be basic references in the field of trauma surgery. They show his profound and extensive traumatological knowledge. For his book “The AO Phenomenon” he was honored with the Georg-Friedrich-Louis-Stromeyer Medal by the German Society of Trauma Surgeons.

Dear Urs, you have always been a faithful friend, loyal colleague and a wise advisor.

We miss you.