Fotis Faedon Papadopoulos (1931-2021), Professor Emeritus of Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
The news of his death a few days ago brought sorrow not just to his family but to the academic and veterinary community. The eminent academic moral standing, the noble and mild disposition, the successful conveying of knowledge and the emblematic surgical and clinical performance of a surgeon were all recognized characteristics of the personage of Fotis Papadopoulos. Fotis Papadopoulos is considered to be the father of modern Greek veterinary surgery, a man that was passed the baton from his predecessor and teacher, Ioannis Vikelidis, and a man who created the conditions for the evolution and development of surgery in the 20th century. Thousands of undergraduate students, dozens of residents, PhD holders both veterinarians and medical doctors were taught by him, whereas several of his students advanced as academics and private veterinary clinicians. Fotis Papadopoulos was always open to discussion and to different scientific opinions based on published knowledge.
Fotis Papadopoulos was born in Thessaloniki in 1931 and he completed his high school studies in the “Anatolia” American college. In 1956 he graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with the highest graduation degree. In 1959 he was appointed as teaching assistant of surgery and ascended through all the seats of academic office. Therefore, in 1960 he was appointed lecturer and in 1963 he was awarded a top degree in his PhD in the School of Veterinary Medicine. In 1968 he became reader and in 1969 he was elected professor of Surgery in the School of Veterinary Medicine of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The immediate correlation between the veterinary and medical sciences on the one hand and the lack of specialisation on the other guided Papadopoulos to postgraduate studies in the field of human radiology and ophthalmology during 1961-1962. In the meantime, companion animal clinical cases began to increase in numbers. Τhe staff of the clinic was unable to manage the volume and variety of surgical disorders. For this reason, in 1963-1965 Papadopoulos travelled abroad with a State Scholarship Foundation (IKY) academic scholarship, and more specifically he visited the Veterinary Schools of London, Stockholm and Copenhagen, where he specialised in surgery, radiology, anaesthesia, and ophthalmology of companion animals. His return to Greece coincided with the creation of modernised facilities in the clinic and in the laboratory of radiology resulting in a major boost in the department which guided the clinic to prosperity. During his tenure of office Fotis Papadopoulos was the author of a vast number of papers and surgery textbooks. Moreover, his contribution in the evolution of the School of Veterinary Medicine was considerable, considering that he served as senator during 1974-1975, dean of the School during 1975-1976 and president of the School of Veterinary Medicine during 1985-1987. During his tenure of office as president he contributed to a major degree in the development of the educational curriculum of the School. Professor Papadopoulos was the founder of companion animal orthopaedics, neurosurgery and ophthalmology in our country. Fotis Papadopoulos retired in 1999. Professor Fotis Papadopoulos left behind a void that can never be filled for his children, his friends, and the veterinary and academic community. Godspeed, professor.
Lysimachos G. Papazoglou
School of Veterinary Medicine, AUTH
February 10, 2021
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