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ŠVAB, Prof Igor: WONCA Fellowship recipient 2010


The Royal College of General Practitioners and the Dutch College of General Practitioners nominated Professor Igor Švab of Slovenia, for WONCA Fellowship.

Over more than a decade, Igor has contributed to the development of General Practice in an outstanding way, both nationally and internationally. At the Cancun conference, Igor stepped down as President of WONCA Europe, a position he had held since 2004.Igor joined the board of WONCA Europe as the representative of researchers in general practice. He was a member of the WONCA Europe executive board for more than ten years as vice-president and eventually president. He has participated actively in two important networks of WONCA Europe, EGPRN (former EGPRW) and Euract.

He chaired the scientific committee of the WONCA Europe conference, in Ljubljana, in June 2003. He is also one of the authors of the European definition of general practice/ family medicine, which was accepted in 2002.

His major merit for WONCA has been his role as an ambassador for General Practice and WONCA in the countries of middle and eastern Europe. His efforts resulted in an increase in the number of WONCA member organisations of countries from that region.

While continuing part-time in practice, Igor's main job is as Professor of Family Medicine in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Igor graduated from the Ljubljana medical faculty in 1981. From 1983 to 1991, he worked as a rural GP. He completed his Masters degree in medicine on the topic of frequent attenders in general practice.

In 1991, Igor moved to the National Institute of Public Health in Ljubljana in order to help run the vocational training scheme for general practitioners in the country. During this time, Igor started his PhD on Multivariate analysis of the reasons for referral from General Practice. During his work at the institute, Igor joined the European Academy of General Practice teachers (Euract) as the first representative for Slovenia.

Igor sees one of the biggest successes of his career as participating in the creation and the development of the Department of Family Medicine in Ljubljana, which has become the key factor in the development of family medicine in Slovenia and is still continuing to grow. In recent years, Igor became increasingly involved in family medicine development projects, especially in the countries of central and eastern Europe, where there is a great need for the development of family medicine. Igor has been involved specifically in the development of family medicine in Estonia, Turkey, Montenegro and Macedonia.

In 2004, Igor was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

Igor's interests outside medicine include reading, hiking, spending some time in his garden and he has introduced slow food philosophy to many friends. Igor believes life is beautiful.