Laudation of VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School AG Professor Hendrik Tevaearai Stahel, MD

Professor Hendrik Tevaearai Stahel, MD

by Professor Hendrik Tevaearai Stahel,
cardiac surgeon, CEO Swiss Cardio Technologies AG
and Chief Editor Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine


Mr. Howald,
valued colleagues,

Even though medicine and surgery have technically developed enormously especially in recent years, the surgical result ultimately still depends on the surgeon’s performance – despite the support of endoscopic cameras, miniaturised instruments or even robots. Thus, it is understandable that patients ask how experienced the surgeon is.
We know only too well that not every surgeon is a star, not all of them are equally talented and experienced – just like in any other profession.

Training and quality in vascular surgery – these are the topics VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School has addressed for more than 25 years. On the initiative of three surgeons from Switzerland, Germany and Austria, it was founded in the early 1990s to standardise vascular surgery and thus increase quality. I was a young medical assistant at that time, when vascular surgery was still part of general surgery. It was only much later that it developed to be an independent medical field.

Now what do we need to become good surgeons? Then as now, the answer is: practice, practice and more practice. This does not automatically mean that practice is always done in the right way. Therefore, we need mentors, exchange with other colleagues, experience and most of all quality control. However, even more is needed: namely the understanding that even a specialist with long-standing experience needs to develop further, learn more and practice. VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School has understood this role for a long time. Therefore, its success is based on three factors:

First, VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School AG considers itself a platform for the interaction between experienced vascular surgeons and surgeons in training. With many courses all over the world, including the renowned “Pontresina Week”, VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School has established itself as the reference for education and training of vascular surgeons worldwide. The certificates of VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School are recognised internationally and stand for highest quality. The models of VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School have even been used for the practical part of the UEMS exams (European Union of Medical Specialists) since 2014. Second, VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School AG also understands itself as a development company as it develops and produces the life-like models for all relevant extremities (abdomen, leg, arm, neck) by itself. It is not without reason that VI has been awarded for its vi-box. Third, VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School AG stands for a new culture. With its growing network of world-famous specialists, many of them from the academy but also from an industry background, the exchange of ideas, experience and technique is ideal. It is not about becoming a star but about doing everything right and becoming a better surgeon.

Ladies and gentlemen, thousands of people in Switzerland and millions worldwide suffer from arterial diseases which typically require series of interventions. Vascular diseases are often a consequence of other diseases such as diabetes, arteriosclerosis, hypertension and others, which are unfortunately increasing. Sadly, surgery will not cure these diseases. However, good surgery will significantly increase the quality of life and work of persons affected. In addition, thousands of days of hospitalisation and rehabilitation will be reduced as a result.

I would like to congratulate Jürg Schmidli, head of vascular surgery at the Inselspital and President of the European Society for Vascular Surgery, but also President of FOUNDATION VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL, and Hanspeter Kiser, Chairman of the Board of VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School as the representative of VASCULAR INTERNATIONAL School, on the achievement of having raised the entire quality of vascular surgery to an international level.