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History of angiology in Switzerland

The milestones of Swiss angiology certainly include the performance of the first balloon dilatation of a femoral artery worldwide by Andreas Grüntzig in 1974 at the University Hospital Zurich, the development of duplex ultrasound and the research work in the field of microcirculation.

Development of Swiss Angiology

The initiative of Arnold Kappert (Bern), Leo Widmer (Basel), Alfred Bollinger (Zurich) and Bernard Krahenbuhl (Geneva) led to the recognition of angiology as an independent specialty in the 1960s. This early recognition, led to the creation of departments for angiology at all university hospitals in the country. Angiology was recognized as a subspecialty of internal medicine and dermatology in 1990. Ten years later, angiology was recognized as an independent main medical specialty, which was unique in the world. In 2005, the specialist examination in angiology, consisting of a written and oral/practical part, was introduced.

Strengthen angiology as a specialty across the EU

Modern angiology in Switzerland covers a wide field of medicine and has developed a strong outpatient expertise. The clinical spectrum offered covers the entire spectrum of vascular diseases, in the areas of diagnostics and therapy. A challenge for the future in vascular medicine is the management of aging multimorbid and frail patients, as well as the shortage of qualified vascular experts. It will also be important to raise public awareness on vascular diseases and to sensitize all stakeholders including politicians and authorities to the importance of integrated vascular care. An important step in this direction are also the efforts at European level to achieve formal recognition of angiology as a specialty.