Madjid Samii Medal of Honor
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Awarded by the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies
The medal and it's story behind
The Madjid Samii Medal of Honor will be awarded every two years by the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) during its meetings to eminent international neurosurgeons as a lifetime achievement award for outstanding services to neurosurgery. As such, the Madjid Samii Medal of Honor is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a neurosurgeon. The award has been incorporated in the WFNS Constitution and Bylaws. The medal has been named after Madjid Samii for his outstanding contributions to neurosurgery.
The medal is made from pure silver and shows Professor Samii in profile on one side and the image "Juggler at the Skull Base", intended to represent Madjid Samii, on the other side. The images and the medal have been created and designed by Dr. Miro Orszagh, a former neuroradiologist and talented artist.
The Madjid Samii Medal of Honor is supported by the exclusive sponsoring partner Aesculap.
The man on the medal
Professor Madjid Samii was born in Tehran on June 19th, 1937. After his studies of medicine and biology he completed his training at the Neurosurgical Clinic of the University of Mainz/Germany where he became Professor of Neurosurgery in 1971.
Madjid Samii was instrumental in the development of modern neurosurgery. In the 1960s he helped to improve imaging systems for neurosurgery and in 1967 he introduced the first surgical microscope for use in neurosurgery in Germany. In 1971, he started an annual continuing course to teach his experiences in microsurgery. In 1977, he established the first micro-neurosurgical training laboratory in Germany. His experiences are reflected in 17 books and more than 500 publications.
As President of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) from 1997 to 2001 Madjid Samii was the originator of the WFNS Neurosurgical Instruments Sets, a project set up with the aim of improving the treatment of patients in the world's poorest countries. He was the initiator and founder of the WFNS foundation in the year 2000, which helps and supports through neurosurgical equipment as well as training and education with its fellowships , especially for neurosurgeons from developing countries. And he initiated the Young Neurosurgeons Forum of the WFNS, a communication platform and network dedicated to young neurosurgeons from all over the world.
In July 2000, the International Neuroscience Institute (INI), which was founded by Professor Samii and is nicknamed the 'Brain of Hannover' on account of the building's unusual design, was opened in Hannover.
In addition to his numerous honorary doctorates, awards, honorary and visiting professorships and foundations, this Medal of Honor of the WFNS is dedicated to and named after the honorary WFNS president Madjid Samii.
The designer of the medal
Born in Martin, Slovakia, Miro Orszagh grew up in a close knit family with his two brothers. After his high school graduation he began his studies at a sports university before devoting himself to the study of medicine.
In 1983, after his relocation to Germany, he worked in Munich, Hamburg and Göttingen before spending 15 years in the department of Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology of the Freiburg University Hospital. He gained a great deal from his work with the great team of physicists here and their "never-ending battle" with the k-space.
He often used drawings in his publications and presentations – some highly scientific, others less – to illustrate the topics under discussion. At some point these drawings, which colleagues found to be extraordinarily profound, caught the eye of someone who suggested they be turned into an art book.
One of these drawings is the "Juggler at the Base of the Skull"…, which is a chapter of his book that he long ago dedicated to his friend and supporter Prof. Samii. "It couldn't suit anyone more perfectly".
The "Juggler…", a fascinating symbolic figure – someone trying to do something extraordinary, going to the limits of his abilities, realizing his mystical visions, enthusing. And we all know about the infinite source of energy which enthusiasm provides…
Miro Orszagh's current project is the construction of the "Neuro Art Gallery" in the oldest mining town in Slovakia, Banská Štiavnica, where he spent most summers of his youth and which became an Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site in 1993. His vision is also to expose neuro-inspired puzzles from other colleagues here to bring a touch of poetry into this serious field.
In addition to his passion for medicine and music, the most important people in his life are his four children: David, Florence, Nore-Runa, and Fionna-Sara.