- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Walter Dössekker

Born 1868
Died 1962

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Swiss dermatologist, born August 15, 1868, Muri, Canton Argovia; died August 6, 1962, Baden, Canton Argovia.

Biography of Walter Dössekker

Walt(h)er Dösseckel was one of eleven childern of Alphons Emil Dösseckel (1840-1904) and his wife Henriette Bertha née Meister (1841-1916). His father was forester in Muri (Argovia). After the Gymnasium in Aarau he studied medicine in Zurich and Berlin. 1889 he was allowed by the argovian government to change his name in Dössekker. His doctor thesis was published in 1892. He completed his postgraduate training in Berlin, Dresden and Paris. Then he worked as practitioner in Ottenbach (ZH) and Aarau.

In 1909 Dössekker started to work as a volunteer physician at the dermatological clinic at Berne under Josef Jadassohn (1863-1936). One year later he became third assistant, 1911 second assistant and 1912 Sekundärarzt. Jadassohn created this new position to master the additional work due to new technologies, especially light and X-rays treatments. He chose Dössekker as he considered him as trustworthy and good physician. Dössekker opened at the same time a private clinic to earn enough money for his family. At the end of 1917 he sold his clinic and left the dermatological clinic at the beginning of the following year. From December 1925 to March 1938 he leaded the Institute for therapeutical X-rays (therapeutisches Zentralröntgeninstitut) at the Inselspital in Berne. His son Kurt was also physician.

We thank Patrick Jucker-Kupper, Switzerland, for submitting the biography and bibliography for Walter Dössekker.

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