After a long life, Prof. dr hab. med. Zygmunt Szmeja has died today. He has associated his entire professional life with the Department of Otolaryngology in Poznań. In the years 1979-1999, he was its director, leading to its development and activity. He very much cared about the high level of treatment and the development of his coworkers. His passion was recognizing and treating neoplasms in the head and neck. He was developing preservation surgery in laryngeal cancer. As one of the first in Poland, he performed operations using a CO2 laser. In the 1980s, together with prof. Feliks Tokarz - a neurosurgeon - performed nasal surgeries in the treatment of pituitary gland adenomas. He was always training himself to introduce new methods of treatment in Poland. Therefore, each year went to German clinics for several weeks. He developed extensive cooperation with other European centres (Hannover, Tübingen, Halle, Wurzburg). He actively participated in number of congresses around the world, giving papers and sitting at round table conferences. For over 20 years he was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal "Otolaryngologia Polska (The Polish Journal of Otolaryngology)". He allowed obtaining doctorates from many doctors from Wielkopolska and other national centres. He was extremely active in the Polish Society of Otolaryngologists, being a member of the Main Board for many years. He organized many domestic conventions with extensive participation of foreign guests. He was an Honorary Member of the Polish Society of Otorhinolaryngologists and Head and Neck Surgeons and many foreign Societies, incl. German, American and Japanese.
Thanks to his initiative, prof. Ernst Lehnhardt from Hannover and prof. Hans Peter Zenner from Tübingen have received the title of doctor honoris causa fo the Poznan University of Medical Sciences. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine for 6 years and took other positions at the Poznan University of Medical Sciences.
He was decorated with high national and university honours. In everyday life he was gifted with an extraordinary sense of humor, shining at various meetings and meetings with friends. He knew the history of Polish laryngology excellently.