Košice, as a cultural, economic, political and educational centre, has been important for centuries. Since August 7, 1660, the University of Košice – Universitas Cassoviensis – was confirmed by the Golden Bull of Hungarian King and Roman Emperor Leopold I.
Pathology, as a basic medical field, has become an important part of the diagnostic and control activities of the East Slovak medical community since 1920, as a natural activity after the establishment of Comenius University in Bratislava in October 14, 1919. Pathologicalanatomical activities began to be realized in the framework of Košice Municipal Hospital prosectorium under the leadership of the head Martin Dzubian, MD, who was a graduate of the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague and a student of prof. Hlava. Another head of prosectorium was Václav Strimpl, MD, who ledp the department until 1938 and he was also a Head of the Pasteur Institute, which had been established as a branch of the State Health Institute in Prague with impact to Slovakia and Subcarpathian Russia. During that period, 4145 autopsies were performed at the prosectorium, including medico-legal autopsies, and some part of them concerned to autopsies of deceased in Košice Military Division Hospital. György Habán, MD was the next Head of the prosectorium in the years 1938-1945. During the years 1945-1948, the Department of Pathological anatomy was headed by doctor Friedmann, who organized the first clinical-pathological conferences. The Head Doctor Friedmann (later a Professor of London University), became a world-renowned expert and a founder of the subspecialty in Head and Neck Pathology. In the year 1924 the prosectorium of the State Hospital in Košice was placed to the pavilion No. VIII on Rastislavova street. The prosectorium later (in the 1950s) underwent extensive reconstruction and with the gradual construction of the whole hospital it took the central position of today’s Louis Pasteur University Hospital. Pavilion No. VIII. had been still using for autopsies until the end of 2017.
The Department of Pathology in Košice was established in 1948 as part of newly created Faculty of Medicine. The Department began its history under the leadership of Professor Igor Kutlík, MD, the student-follower of Professor František Klein, MD from Bratislava Institute of Pathological Anatomy (as a part of Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague). The Department of Pathology continued the rich history and tradition of the pathological-anatomical workplace of the original State Hospital as to activities in medicine and prevention, it had laboratory and other subdivisions, including teaching facilities and built photolaboratory located in several hospital pavilions. Igor Kutlík, MD, later habilitated and appointed Associate professor, being used his experience from the Bratislava Institute, innovated a lot of procedures in special laboratory and autopsy activities. The person of Professor Kutlík had a special significance for Slovak resp. Czecho-Slovak pathology in the form of his two monographic publications (Histopathological Laboratory Technician, Práca, Bratislava, 1950, 272 pp. and Pathological-Anatomical Autopsy, SAS, Bratislava, 1954, 429 pp.).
An important personality was also Professor Ivan Jurkovič, MD, CSc., who from the graduation from the FM CU in 1956 until 2011 long-term worked in Košice at the Institute of Pathology, FM UPJŠ, and performed demanding pedagogical-educational, therapeutic-preventive, publishing and scientific-research tasks. He was awarded a candidate of science diploma, and was appointed a habilitated docent and professor. In the years 1990-1991 he served as the vicedean of the FM UPJŠ, and in the years 1991-1993 as the dean of the FM UPJŠ. Professor Jurkovič, MD, was the holder of the highest pedagogical award in education system, namely the MEDAL OF ST. GORAZD, and was awarded the PRIZE OF THE MAYOR OF KOŠICE.
In the years 1969-1990, the Department was headed by Associated professor Pavol Bilčík, MD, CSc., where the Head Doctor was Ladislav Sokol, MD, who continued his work in 1986 as the Head Doctor of newly created Pathology workplace in the new part of L. Pasteur University Hospital, Tr. SNP 1, Košice. The separated Pathology workplace of the new part of University Hospital performed only bioptic and cytological procedures, while the Department of Pathology on Rastislavova str. 43 performed complete biopsy, cytology and necropsy investigations, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate education in histopathology. During that time the Head
Doctors of the Department were Rudolf Krajcár, MD and later Katarína Dudríková, MD. The changes that led to the current structure of the Department of Pathology occurred in 1986, when a part of staff was separated from the Department to the newly created Pathology workplace of L. Pasteur University Hospital, Tr. SNP 1, Košice, as economically independent work unit under the leadership of the Head Doctor and Chief Laboratory Assistant. The separated Pathology workplace gradually took over the scope of biopsy procedures from the basic Department of Pathology on Rastislavova str. 43, so the basic unit sequentially reduced its influence in health care procedures, despite the fact that until 2012 the Department of Pathology had been fully functional both in pedagogical and in health care activities under leading the Head of the Department, the Head Doctor and the Chief Laboratory Assistant.
The Head of the Department in that period (1990-2013) was Professor Andrej Böőr, MD, CSc. At that time the Department developed scientific research activities with an emphasis on the study of breast tumours (in 1993) and the investigation of lung cancer (in 1995), as well as on the diagnostics of melanocytic lesions with the establishment of the Melanoma Commission at L. Pasteur University Hospital in Košice. Gradually, the Department focused on the comprehensive diagnostics of renal glomerular diseases.
A fundamental change took place in January 2012, when the position of a Head Doctor at the Department structure remained unoccupied. The Head of the Department and Chief Laboratory Assistant continued their work without a Head Doctor, so the entire health care activities (biopsy and cytology) were taken over by the Pathology workplace of L. Pasteur University Hospital, Tr. SNP 1. Thus, the basic Department of Pathology ceased to exist in its classical form and was able to continue performing pedagogical activities only.
In June 2013, the Pathology workplace of L. Pasteur University Hospital, Tr. SNP 1 moved to the premises of the Department of Pathology on Rastislavova str. 43, so the spatial and material equipment of the basic Department became significantly reduced. At that time, the Head Doctor of the common Department was Marián Švajdler, MD, PhD. In the years 2013-2015, the Head
Doctor of the Department was Marián Benický, MD, in the years 2015-2019 – František Gmitter, MD, and since 2019 the Department has been led by Zuzana Hríbiková, MD. In this situation, Patrik Fiala, MD, PhD. became the new Head of the Department of Pathology (in May 2013). The staff of the Department lacked access to the performance of basic medical activities (biopsy and cytology), thus the Department could not meet the conditions neither for the professional growth of physicians in the framework of specialization training programmes, nor for scientific research activities. Since 2015, due to efforts of the current Head of the Department, Head Doctor, and University Hospital management, the better cooperation between the medical and educational parts of the Department was established, and the access to biopsy and cytology activities was allowed to doctors who worked there as assistant professors, as well as redevelopment of scientific research, specialization training in the field of Pathological Anatomy, and doctoral PhD. studies were renewed. Thanks to the Head of the Department, two new equipped teaching rooms for students were built. A systematized and partially digitalized archive (more than 25000 micro- and macrophotographs) was created and stored at the Department.
In May 2017, Patrik Fiala, MD, PhD. left his job position, and Marián Benický, MD started his job as a new Head of the Department until August 2018. Since that time, the Department of Pathology has been without a Head and the doctors – assistant professors of the Department – lost their professional guidance once again. Nevertheless, during that period the duties of the Head were successfully managed by Erika Štammová, MD, the Deputy Head for pedagogical activities, and two doctors – assistant professors -obtained their PhD. degrees, the Department produced several important publications, as well as all doctors – assistant professors – continued their Pathological Anatomy specialization training. In February 2021 Alžbeta Blichárová, MD, PhD. took over the function of Deputy Head for pedagogical activities at the Department. Actually, the Deputy Head Doctor for medical activities at the Department is František Gmitter, MD.
Nowadays, the Department of Pathology is located on the 1st floor and partially at the basement of Pavilion No. VII on Rastislavova str. No. 43 in Košice, in its side wing. No autopsies have been performed at the Department since 2005, the Pavilion No. VIII with autopsy subdivision has been leased to the Medico-Legal and Pathological-Anatomical Workplace of the Health Care Surveillance Authority Office, which currently performs autopsies in accordance with applicable legislation. In November 2017, the autopsy subdivision of Health Care Surveillance Authority moved from Pavilion No. VIII to the new premises on Ipeľská str. No. 1 in Košice.
Deputy Head for pedagogical activities, 19.5.2021