Jochen Loeher

Jochen Loehr: 1951-2009

It is with great sadness that we announce the premature death of our friend and colleague, Jochen Loehr. The shocking news emerged during the recent EFORT congress in Vienna, for which he was a member of the organizing committee, lecturer and moderator.

Jochen was a man of great charisma: highly intelligent with an enquiring mind and tremendous linguistic skills. His attributes made him a natural leader in his chosen professional arena. Although he maintained an active interest in many areas of orthopaedic surgery, it will be for his contribution to shoulder surgery that he will be remembered. In his native country, he was a founder member of the German Association for Shoulder and Elbow Surgery and a major ambassador for German speaking orthopaedic surgeons within SECEC.

Brought up within a family tradition of surgery in Northern Germany, he studied medicine at the University of Kiel. After completion of his military service, he sought out the very best residency and fellowship programmes without restrictions of national borders; a feature that characterized his professional life. The opportunity to work under Norbert Gschwend at the Klinik Wilhelm Schulthess in Zurich and Hans Uhthoff in Ottawa shaped his professional style and academic interests. The residency in Ottawa led to his promotion to the faculty as an Assistant Professor from 1987-1991. During this time he made major scientific contributions, notably in the field of rotator cuff surgery. He returned to Europe with complete command of the English Language, retaining his English accent leant as a young man at school in Sussex with only a hint of a North American inflexion.

His time in Wuerzburg from 1991-1995 was extremely successful, with the award of a PhD thesis in 1993. He contributed greatly to the distinguished university department led by Prof Jochen Eulert, who remained a friend and supporter throughout his career. It seemed only natural that he would return to the Klinik Wilhelm Schulthess as Chefarzt, to work with his great mentor, Norbert Gschwend.

Although Zurich became his, and his family's, future and final home; He accepted the Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery in the beautiful Hanseatic City of Luebeck, so close to his family roots. This period of little more than a year was followed by the important, but challenging appointment as clinical director of the Endoklinik in Hamburg from 2002 to 2008. It is particularly sad that his final position, so close to his family and home, was to be so short. He chose to join The Endoclinic Hirslanden in Zuerich earlier this year.

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