Who are famous ENT patients

Clinic and Polyclinic for Ear, Nose and Throat Medicine, Head and Neck Surgery "Otto Körner"

As the first otorhinolaryngological specialist clinic at a German university and in Central and Northern Europe, the "University Clinic for Ear, Nose and Larynx Disorders" was opened in Rostock on October 25, 1899. It was thanks to Otto Körner, with whose name the history and development of otorhinolaryngology are inextricably linked. In memory of this great doctor, researcher, university professor and humanist, the clinic was given the honorary name "Otto Körner" on the occasion of its 90th anniversary on October 23, 1989.

Even before Körner came to Rostock, the Hanseatic city had developed into a starting point for the development of otolaryngology. The fields of otology, which was initially called otiatry and originated from surgery, and laryngology, which emerged from internal medicine, had no relationship to one another for a long time. Rhinology had never achieved the status of an independent subject. It later acted as a link between the two subjects, which were initially intended to be delimited.

Founder of otolaryngology as a uniform subject in RostockChristian Lemcke. After studying medicine from 1875 to 1880 in Rostock, Würzburg and Berlin and working as an assistant in surgery, gynecology and neurology, he returned to Rostock in September 1881, where he carried out the treatment of larynx patients through a job at Thierfelder at the Clinic for Internal Medicine. In addition, from 1883 he took over the care of ear-suffering patients, thus merging the two subjects.

In mid-1884 Lemcke settled in Rostock as a general practitioner for ear and larynx diseases. With his work "The deaf and dumb students in Ludwigslust. A contribution to special deaf and dumb statistics" he qualified as a professor in 1885 and received the venia legendi as a private lecturer for the subjects of otology and laryngology. Lemcke was given rooms in the medical clinic to carry out his academic classes. He had to bear the costs himself for the staff and funds for the lectures, as well as for the treatment of bedridden patients in rented rooms in the city. Even when the polyclinic was recognized as a university institute in 1891 and Lemcke was entrusted with its management, nothing changed in terms of the material conditions for the time being. It was not until 1893 that grants were made available from sovereign funds. In the same year he was appointed associate professor. Christian Lemcke died in 1894 at the age of 43 without being able to continue his big plans.

Resigned in November 1894 Otto Koerner to succeed Lemcke. He was born on May 10, 1858 as the son of the Secret Judicial Council and District Court Director Dr. jur. Wilhelm Körner was born in Frankfurt. After the grammar school followed in Marburg and Strasbourg until 1883 the medical studies and the license to practice medicine. He had already dealt with diseases of the larynx at an early age and was able to present his doctoral dissertation "Contributions to the comparative anatomy and physiology of the larynx of infants and humans" as early as 1882. This was followed by assistant positions in general medicine at Kussmaul and at the Ear Polyclinic in Frankfurt near Kühn. In the meantime, Körner went on a few study trips, especially to England, gaining experience that would later benefit him. As early as in Frankfurt, in addition to working as an assistant at the laryngologist Moritz Schmidt, he held office hours for ear patients in a small apartment. What has been learned over the years flowed into the draft of a book on "The otitic diseases of the brain, meninges and blood conductors". The work with a foreword by the Berlin surgeon Ernst von Bergmann appeared in 1894 and made Körner famous in one fell swoop. Due to unfavorable conditions, he turned down the offered extraordinary position for otology and laryngology in Marburg, and the plan for a habilitation in Heidelberg was given up again.

When the appointment came to Rostock, he took up his teaching post just two weeks later. With better initial conditions than his predecessor had, an extraordinary office for otology, rhinology and laryngology was established for him. Teaching, treatment and operations, as well as the accommodation of the operated on took place in the medical clinic. Intensive efforts to build their own clinic followed. The rejection of three calls to larger universities was highly credited to Körner, so that the Mecklenburg Ministry soon approved the establishment of a university clinic with an outpatient clinic. For this purpose, four properties were acquired at Doberaner Strasse 137-139. In 1899 the opening of the clinic was celebrated with an opulent meal. A later expansion brought the clinic to a capacity of 52 beds by 1920.

Koerner used to stand by his assistants in all operations. The teaching activity was initially limited to a few particularly interested students. Körner took a lively part in von Tröltsch's struggle for the subject area to be included in the study regulations and in 1896 presented the faculties and ministries with an "expert opinion on the need for an examination of ear medicine in the state medical examination". But it was only when Körner received a call to Strasbourg in 1901 that he was able to reach the ordinariate for himself, as a condition for the refusal of this call.

As a specialist, Körner had ensured a growing influx of patients from all over Mecklenburg and the Nordic countries over the years. His charisma had given him such a reputation in the university that he was elected rector in 1913. For a year he directed the fortunes of the university and represented it in public.

As an expression of his intensive research, a number of publications and a "textbook on ear medicine and its border areas" were produced during his activity. Until his retirement on March 31, 1929, Körner continued to work in the fields of comparative anatomy and clinical otology, rhinology and laryngology.

The 36-year-old succeeded Körner Otto Steurer who was working in Tübingen at the time. He was born on November 9, 1893 in Freudenstadt / Black Forest. After graduating from high school in 1911, he studied medicine in Strasbourg and Tübingen until 1917. First he worked in the internal department of the reserve hospital in Stuttgart and in the pathological institute of the University of Munich. This was followed by an assistant position at the university ENT clinic in Jena near Wittmaack. After his habilitation in 1922, he went to the university ENT clinic in Tübingen as a senior physician, where he was appointed private lecturer in 1923. In the meantime back in Jena, he was appointed associate professor in Tübingen in 1927. In 1929, Steurer accepted the position of full professor of otology, rhinology and laryngology in Rostock, where he was also entrusted with the management of the ENT clinic. After buying the house at Doberaner Strasse 136 and adding another storey to the clinic building, there were now 78 beds. From 1933 to 1934 Steurer was dean of the medical faculty, from 1939 to 1941 Vice-Rector and from 1941 to 1944 Rector Magnificus. In the spring of 1945 he followed the call to Hamburg and took over the chair there.

After Steurer left Rostock, his senior physician, Prof. Kriegsmann, became the head of the clinic. However, this was no longer available in Rostock at the end of the war. However, the clinic had to continue operating without a line again. Therefore, the only ENT doctor still practicing in Rostock was Dr. Hannemann, appointed as acting head. It is his merit to have maintained ENT care in Rostock under the most difficult conditions of the immediate post-war period. When the university was reopened in 1946 by order of the occupying power and instructions from the state government of Mecklenburg, they were looking for a university professor who would resume teaching at the ENT clinic.

So you bid Prof. Dr. med. habil. Hesse the chair that practiced in Berlin and decided to accept the appointment. Hesse had been an assistant to an internist in Leipzig since 1936, then in pathology in Chemnitz, in physiology in Berlin, two years with Wittmaack in Jena, two years with v. Eicken in the Charité, since 1928 assistant and after his habilitation senior physician to privy councilor Prof. Stenger in Königsberg, where he temporarily took over the clinic in 1936. For political reasons, Hesse did not continue to hold an academic post and went into his own practice during the time of the NSDAP. In Rostock he quickly found his way back to clinical and university work after the end of the war. His merit is the reactivation of an efficient ENT clinic in Rostock in the post-war years. Prof. Hesse left the service at the university clinic in 1961.

The new director and full professor for otorhinolaryngology was established Kurt Dietzel from 1961. Between 1958 and 1961 he headed the University Clinic in Greifswald, where he had been refused full professorship. With determination, Dietzel continued to expand microsurgery and oncology. In addition, the traumatological area was expanded. The treatment of vocal and speech impaired people was transferred to the Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology Department, which was opened in 1971 and is headed by Prof. Pahn. In order to cope with the considerable increase in outpatient and inpatient care, Dietzel implemented a structural extension to the north side of the clinic in 1972. This increased the number of beds to 90. In addition to another operating room, a laboratory for histological examinations was created and the functional areas of radiology and audiology improved. The working conditions in the outpatient clinic, phoniatrics, biochemistry and other areas were also positively stimulated. During his career, the research area received a major boost. Numerous meetings and congresses were held and a large number of publications were recorded. Prof Dietzel died on September 25th, 2002.

As successor was Heinz-Joachim Scholtz appointed to the chair of otorhinolaryngology and entrusted with the management of the clinic, who had received his training under R. Albrecht at the University of Jena, where he had worked as a senior physician from 1961. Under his leadership, the highly specialized diagnostics and therapy of the subject could be further expanded at the Rostock University ENT Clinic, in line with the international trend. This applies to microscopic and endoscopic diagnostics as well as functional diagnostics with evoked potentials, vestibular examination with the help of photoelectronystagmography and stabilometry, modern olfactory and taste testing and phoniatric diagnostics including microroboscopy. As before, there was cooperation with the schools for the deaf and hard of hearing in Mecklenburg and the language schools. In the surgical field, operations on the base of the skull and in the ear and paranasal sinus area, endoscopic and microscopically supported sinus surgery, phonosurgery, cryosurgery, modern surgical treatment of midface fractures and the expansion of the range of tumor operations were also subject to further development in the surgical field Oro- and hypopharynx with the plastic reconstructive measures. The cooperation with German and foreign ENT clinics was deepened and several courses were held with well-known surgeons. The increased scientific potential could be presented at 8 meetings and symposia of the clinic with international participation. The clinic building, which is now over 80 years old, was refurbished over a period of several years with the utmost commitment of all employees. Professor Scholtz handed over management at the beginning of 1992 and left in 1993.

Between 1992 and 1994 Prof. Dr. med. Burkhard Kramp Transfer the provisional management of the clinic through the election of the clinic employees. During this time, it was necessary to adapt the structures to the new social conditions, sometimes associated with hardships and constraints for individual employees who had to leave the clinic. However, it was essentially possible to make the measures socially acceptable. During these years, the scientific staffing level was greatly reduced due to the departure of some employees, so that the tasks in teaching, research and patient care could only be fulfilled through the efforts of all employees. This succeeded in addition to the establishment of new therapeutic procedures, so that in 1994 Prof. Hans Wilhelm Pau was able to take over a well-organized clinic that met modern requirements.

At the end of 1993 Prof. Dr. med. Hans Wilhelm Pau Received the call to the full professorship for ear, nose and throat medicine and took over the management of the clinic in 1994. Pau had enjoyed his training under Prof. W. Becker in Bonn, where he was most recently senior physician. From 1987 to 1994 Pau held a C3 professorship at the University ENT Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf under Prof. U. Koch. His special interest lay in the middle and inner ear physiology and pathophysiology as well as the associated surgical interventions in the ear area and the adjacent skull base. Other main areas of work included special endoscopies and the use of laser surgery. The first cochlear implant operations were carried out in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, with the educational rehabilitation taking place in cooperation with the Güstrow school for the deaf, which has already been mentioned several times. In 1995/96 a new operating theater, which had been planned earlier, was carried out and put into operation, which enables the most difficult interventions with the most modern new equipment. The spatial proximity to the eye clinic brought an improvement and an expansion of the spectrum of interdisciplinary interventions on and in the orbit (e.g. decompressions, tumor operations). In 1997 the 1st joint annual meeting of the Northeast German Association of Otorhinolaryngologists took place in Warnemünde under the presidency of Pau. It was so successful that further annual meetings were decided for the future up to the merger of the two professional societies in the year 2000.

At the end of 1998, the basic renovation of the clinic began with the construction of a new building within the historic walls. For this it was necessary to empty the building for about 1 1/2 years: staff and patients were distributed to several locations in Rostock, where they lived in other clinics for "sublet". During this time (1999) the anniversary "100 years of Otto-Körner-Klinik" fell, which was celebrated with a specialist congress attended from all over Germany as well as a special ceremony in the auditorium of the university.

In the middle of 2000, a completely new, modern ENT clinic within the "historical walls" was able to be moved into. Patients and staff welcomed the friendly, functionally excellent ambience. In 2001 the congress "100 years of the first ENT professorship" took place. The supply of CIs in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was improved through the establishment of the Cochlear Implant Center in Güstrow, special specialist and educational congresses as well as health insurance commitments, so that the number of patients operated on by Pau exceeded the 50 mark. The new function rooms, especially in the field of neurootology and olfactometry, meet the highest standards, so that in the meantime some large third-party funded research contracts have been won for the clinic, a trend that will intensify in the next few years.

On July 1, 2014, Pau handed over the management of the clinic Prof. Dr. med. Robert Mlynski. Mlynski most recently worked as a senior physician at the ENT clinic at the University Hospital of Würzburg. He specializes in skull base surgery and ear microsurgery. “I am very happy to be returning to my homeland,” he says. He grew up in Greifswald and Usedom. The doctor already knows Rostock well - he studied in the city.


On the history of the ENT clinic, the book “100 Years of the University ENT Clinic and Polyclinic Rostock” has been published, edited by Prof. Dr. Burkhard Kramp in the publishing house Oehmke.