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If I were to list the people I regard with greatest respect in domains of medicine, science, spirituality or art, there would be only one name to write down: Professor Andrzej Szczeklik.

An outstanding scientist, a passionate doctor, polymath, writer, pianist, a charming person, friend of artists and Nobel Laureates. He passed away too soon, leaving behind so much research to complete, so many generations of doctors to raise, so many stories to tell…

The sheer breadth of his interests together with the appealing personality have given rise to a number of ideas, which continue to be developed at Medycyna Praktyczna. More than anything else, he taught doctors the value of ethical standards, independent thinking, honesty, diligence, inquisitiveness and passion in research; he taught them how to share knowledge and to be kind. All this shapes the message behind the annual Polish medical symposium “Ethical dilemmas in medical practice”. “Przychodzi wena do lekarza”, a literary competition organised as part of the symposium, strives to foster in doctors the kind of sensitivity that is indispensable in medical practice and helps in understanding the needs of other people – the patients. The competition may be seen as continuation of Professor Szczeklik’s message, which he worded in the following way: “The patient comes with his pain, suffering, crying for help. And the doctor, not minding the patient’s – and his own – fear, knowing how little he knows (which is never enough), says: I will stand beside you, together we will look danger in the face”.

These pages are a testimony to how Professor Andrzej Szczeklik has inspired us over the years, pointing out the works that present the thought, life and work of this brilliant man. My Mentor.

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Piotr Gajewski