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We lost Professor Doctor Ahmet Birand as a result of a deplorable accident on May 21, 2017.
He was born in İstanbul in 1936. He went to primary school in İstanbul and completed his primary education in Ankara in 1948. He completed his secondary and high school education at Ankara Atatürk High School. He enrolled at Ankara University School of Medicine in 1955, passed his doctoral tests and was transferred to the Faculty of Medicine at Ege University. He became one of the first graduates of Ege in 1961. He became a specialist at the Department of Internal Medicine in 1965, the same year he joined this department, and he earned the title of associate professor in 1970. After completing his military service, he established the Department of Cardiology of the Faculty of Medicine at Çukurova University, which had been recently established, and served as the head of this department until he retired.
I spent my days at Ege University Faculty of Medicine together with Ahmet Birand since the early days of 1958. After graduating from the faculty, we started to conduct our post-graduate studies at the Second Clinic of Internal Medicine. We became specialists on the same day (July 30, 1965) and associate professors on November 9, 1970. During the first four months of 1964, we received cardiac catheterization and angiography education from Doctor Ümit Aker at İstanbul Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (currently known as Siyami Ersek Hospital). The first cardiac catheter procedure was performed in May 20, 1964. Right and left (Seldinger, transseptal) heart catheterism, hydrogen test in shunt studies and dye dilution curve practices were conducted at that time. Balistography and phonocardiography were implemented to every patient as a non-invasive method. The left cardiac catheterization (Radner method) was performed with the suprasternal method the next year, and this method was used for more than 1,000 cases. Doctor Birand implemented this method, which was implemented only in Ege University, and later at Çukurova. His post-graduate thesis was entitled “Potentiometrical Dilution Curves,” and it examined the hydrogen test in left and right shunts in particular. He performed intracavitary heart muscle biopsy when he served as a specialist, and he was the first in Turkey to do so. He conducted studies. He used this method in 1970 and became an associate professor with the thesis, “The Relationship Between the Ultrastructure Characteristics of Human Heart Muscles under Normal Conditions and Load, and Myocardial Function.”
After completing his military service, he served at faculties of medicine that were modern for those times, and he conducted studies in cardiology and internal medicine. He established the department of cardiology, separately from internal medicine, at Çukurova, and he helped to educate many esteemed academics. He later continued his studies. After retirement, he lived in İstanbul at first and then in Ankara. We lost our professor as a result of a deplorable accident while he was enjoying a healthy retirement together with his esteemed wife and two daughters. I could say more about him, but I am finishing my letter with the words of Professor Doctor Bilgin Timuralp, which, I believe, describe him accurately: “He was interesting, tough, but cheerful at the same time. With his subtle and quality humor, he was loved by his friends, and he was a unique person.” May he rest in peace.