History of the Polish Society of Nephrology

Abstract

Polish Society of Nephrology (PSN) was born during the Founding Congress organized in September 1983 in Bydgoszcz. The main propagator of this idea was prof. Franciszek Kokot (Katowice) – widely recognized in whole nephrological community. In Bydgoszcz the PSN by-laws was approved and first Executive Council of the Society was elected. First PSN president was elected Tadeusz Orłowski (Warszawa) and vicepresident Andrzej Manitius (Gdańsk) respectively. Subsequent Congresses were organizes each three years in following cities: Kraków (1986), Gdańsk (1989), Katowice (1992), Lublin (1995), Poznań (1998), Kraków (2001), Białystok (2004), Wisła (2007), Bydgoszcz (2010), Wrocław (2013) and Łódź (2016). During these meetings and annual conferences organized between congresses actual topics dedicated to pathophysiology, clinical nephrology, dialysis therapy and kidney transplantation were presented and discussed. Prof. Tadeusz Orłowski was the PSN president till 1986 and subsequently other known Polish nephrology leaders hold this function: Kazimierz Bączyk (Poznań: 1986-1989), Franciszek Kokot (Katowice: 1989-1998), Bolesław Rutkowski (Gdańsk: 1998-2004), Michał Myśliwiec (Białystok: 2004-2007), Andrzej Więcek (Katowice: 2007-2010), Jacek Manitius (Bydgoszcz: 2010-2013), Magdalena Durlik (Warszawa: 2013-2016) and Michał Nowicki (Łódź: 2016 – present). Number of PSN members has risen from 150 at the beginning to over 1000 nowadays. During this 34 years regional structure of PSN was established and today 9 regional divisions are actively working. In 2014 Young Nephrologists’ Club was organized in PSN which is collaborating with Young Nephrologists’ Platform existing in the ERA-EDTA structure. PSN is collaborating closely with international (ISN, ERA-EDTA, IAHN) and Polish (Polish Transplantation Society) scientific societies. Many well known scientists from whole the world were recognized as Honorary Members of PSN. Coming to the end of this short presentation of the PSN activity it is worth to mention also that two journals are officially recognized by our society: Nefrologia I Dializoterapia Polska (Polish Nephrology and Dialysis Therapy) edited from 1997 in Kraków and Forum Nefrologiczne (Nephrological Forum) edited from 2004 in Gdańsk.

Keywords: Poland, nephrology, society, history

Introduction

Polish Society of Nephrology (PSN) was founded during its First Founding Congress organized in September 1983 in Bydgoszcz. At this time two structures connected with nephrology existed in Poland: Nephrological Committee of the Polish Academy of Science chaired by prof. Tadeusz Orłowski (Warsaw) and Nephrological Section of the Polish Society of Internal Medicine chaired by prof. Kazimierz Trznadel (Łódź). The main initiator and propagator of the PSN was prof. Franciszek Kokot (Katowice) who was then member of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association Board (1, 2). One has to remember that it was time when other National Nephrological Societies were founded in whole Europe. Prof. Kokot was supported strongly by the group of other known Polish nephrologists like prof. Kazimierz Bączyk (Poznań), prof. Zenon Szewczyk (Wrocław) and prof. Zygmunt Hanicki (Kraków) and great part of the younger colleagues. All of them worked hard to persuade this idea to other nephrological leaders. In Bydgoszcz last official Conference of the Nephrological Section of Polish Society of Internal Medicine was transformed to the PSN Founding Congress. It is necessary to mention that local organizer of this event was prof. Edmund Nartowicz, Head of Nephrology Department in Bydgoszcz and all necessary documents were prepared by prof. Kazimierz Trznadel (Head of Nephrology Department in Military Hospital in Łódź). During this Founding Congress rules and regulations of the new Society were established and first Executive Council was elected. First PSN president for three years term prof. Tadeusz Orłowski (Figure 1) prominent nephrologist form Warsaw was elected and Vicepresident prof. Andrzej Manitius – Head of Nephrology Department in Gdańsk Medical University (3, 4). Prof. Tadeusz Orłowski was the PSN president till 1986 and subsequently other known Polish nephrology leaders hold this function. Prof. Kazimierz Bączyk from Poznań (Figure 2) was the second and prof. Franciszek Kokot from Katowice (Figure 3) the third PSN president. Whole list of PSN presidents and period of their activity on this position was presented in Table 1, Figure 4, Figure 5 and Figure 6. Subsequent Congresses were organized every three years in following cities: Kraków (1986), Gdańsk (1989), Katowice (1992), Lublin (1995), Poznań (1998), Kraków (2001), Białystok (2004), Wisła (2007), Bydgoszcz (2010), Wrocław (2013) and Łódź (2016). There were also annual scientific and educational conferences organized under the auspices of PSN like:

  1. “Advances in peritoneal dialysis” organized from 1996 in different nephrological centers – prof. B. Rutkowski and currently prof. M. Lichodziejewska-Niemierko (Gdańsk).
  2. “Advances in Nephrology and Hypertension” Polish-German-Czech conferences organized from 1994 by turns in Poland (mainly in Wisła – prof. F. Kokot and Wrocław – prof. M. Klinger), Germany (mainly Gorlitz) and Czech Republic (mainly Liberec).
  3. Post ASN Meetings – Gdańsk Repetitory in Nephrology organized from 2002 by prof. B. Rutkowski
  4. Katowice Seminar – Advances in Nephrology and Hypertension organized from 2001 by prof. A. Więcek
  5. Top Nephrological Trends organized in Poznań currently by prof. A. Oko, earlier from 2002 as Great Poland Spring Nephrological Actualities by prof. S. Czekalski
  6. Nephrocardiology – conference organized from 2005 in Białowieża by prof. M. Myśliwiec (Białystok) and currently by his successor prof. B. Naumnik (Białystok)
  7. Płock Nephrology Days organized between 1995 and 2005 by dr M. Świtalski in Płock
  8. Cracovian Dialysis Days – very special meeting organized on the biennial mode from 1994 until 2014 this meetings which is uniting all parties involved in dialysis – physicians, nurses, technicians, dietitians and patients was organized by prof. O. Smoleński. After his sudden death in 2015 this important meeting is organized by his successors dr A. Smoleńska, mgr M. Liber and prof. J. Pietrzyk.
  9. Nephrological Conference in Włocławek organized from 1992 by doc. J. Ostrowski.

It is worth to mention that also Regional PSN divisions are organizing educational conferences at least 2–3 times during a year. Lectures during all these events were delivered not only by Polish speakers but also very often by eminent nephrologists from Europe and United States. It is worth to mention that many well-known scientists from whole the world were recognized as Honorary Members of PSN. Whole list of foreign PSN Honorary Members is shown in Table 2. One may recognize that among them are also active IAHN members like: G. Richet, S. Massry, G. Eknoyan, R. Ardaillou, A. Heidland and M. Mydlik. There are also twenty six eminent Polish nephrologists who were recognized as PSN Honorary Members (Table 3). Number of PSN members has risen from 150 at the beginning to over 1000 nowadays (Figure 6). During this 34 years regional structure of PSN was established and today 9 regional divisions are actively working. There are also several sections in the PSN central structure eg. historical, rehabilitation in chronic kidney disease, Polish Renal Registry and Polish Registry of Kidney Biopsy. In 2014 Young Nephrologists’ Club was organized in PSN which is collaborating with Young Nephrologists’ Platform existing in the ERA-EDTA structure. PSN is collaborating closely with international (ISN, ERA-EDTA, IAHN) and Polish (Polish Transplantation Society) scientific societies. It is worth to mention that Polish nephrologists played active role in these organizations. Prof. J. Roguski (Poznań) and prof. Stefan Angielski were members of the ISN Board in sixties and seventies. Later on prof. F. Kokot was a member of Nominating Committee and prof. A. Więcek – Head of the section organizing COMGAN CME courses and prof. B. Rutkowski member of the Historical Committee. Even closer is collaboration with ERA-EDTA where several Polish representatives were elected as members of the Council like: prof. T. Orłowski, prof. F. Kokot (3 times), prof. A. Więcek, prof. M. Klinger, prof. J. Małyszko. One have to remember that prof. A. Więcek after accomplishing his second term as Council member was elected as a Secretary-Treasurer and later hold most important position of ERA-EDTA President during last three years (2014-2017). Additionally prof. B. Rutkowski was a member of the Scientific Board of ERA-EDTA Registry and prof. R. Gellert director of the Registry Office. It is worth to mention that three Polish nephrologists were among founders of the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis: prof. K. Bączyk (Poznań), prof. Z. Twardowski (Lublin), prof. P. Hirszel (Kraków) (4). Currently prof. M. Lichodziejewska-Niemierko is member of the Council in this Society. Very successful EuroPD Meeting was organised in 2015 in Kraków coordinated by prof. W. Sułowicz (Kraków) and prof. Lichodziejewska-Niemierko (Gdańsk). Another scientific collaboration was maintained between PSN and International Society of Uremic Research and Toxicity (ISURT). B. Rutkowski was member of the Council, president elect, president and past president in this Society. He organized also very successful ISURT Congress in Sopot in 2007. Special attention has to be paid to collaboration with the International Association for the History of Nephrology (IAHN). Prof. B. Rutkowski spent in the IAHN Council four terms as member, president elect, president and past president of the Association. Doc. Janusz Ostrowski from Włocławek was Council member, president elect and currently he is holding position of IAHN president. Dr Marek Muszytowski from Toruń was Council member and currently is secretary treasurer. Three IAHN Congresses were organized in Poland: in 2004 in Gdańsk in 2010 in Toruń and in 2016 in Wieniec near Włocławek. All these events were organized in collaboration with PSN.

Coming to the end of this short presentation of the PSN activity it is worth to mention also that two journals are officially recognized by our society: Nefrologia i Dializoterapia Polska (Polish Nephrology and Dialysis Therapy) edited from 1997 in Kraków (Chief editor – prof. W. Sułowicz) and Forum Nefrologiczne (Nephrological Forum) edited from 2004 in Gdańsk (Chief editor – prof. B. Rutkowski).

In summary we like to underline that during almost 35 years of PSN activity our Society help to establish high position of Polish nephrology among European countries both from scientific and practical point of view (5). This fact is the result of hard work of many people mentioned in this article and many other anonymous PSN members. We do hope that young generations of Polish nephrologists will keep this high level and also will remember about their mentors who established and developed PSN.

 

References:

  1. Rutkowski B.: Professor Franciszek Kokot – his contribution in the development of Polish nephrology: Pol Arch Med Wewn 1994, 9: 1 11-13.
  2. Rutkowski B.: Leader and promotor of the of the polish nephrology. In: Franciszek Kokot, Ed. Medical University of Silesia, Main Library, Katowice 1999.
  3. Heidland A., Pączek L. Professor Tadeusz Orłowski – in memory of a pioneer in European Nephrology and Transplantation. Kidney Blood Press. Res. 2009; 32: 304-306.
  4. Ostrowski J., Rutkowski B.: Honorary member of the Polish Society of Nephrology. Part One: Tadeusz Orłowski. Forum Nefrol. 2013; 1: 71-75.
  5. Czekalski S. Kazimierz Bączyk, Poznań, Poland. Nephrol. Dial. Transplant. 1996; 11:1656.
  6. Czekalski S., Rutkowski B. The History of nephrology in Poland. J. Nephrol. 2006; 19 (supl. 10): S150-S158.
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