What made you want to become a doctor? Moreover, why a heart surgeon?
I always wanted to be a doctor. As a medical student, I read an interesting report on Bruno Reichart. At the time, as a young professor, he had begun work on transplants in Germany. He would later go on to succeed Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town. I was so fascinated by his career that I applied to become an assistant at the Anatomical Institute in Vienna. That was my way into surgery. I came to heart surgery through a research group. Following an invitation from Bruno Reichart, I went to Munich. I qualified as a professor and worked my way up to senior physician there. Following several years as a managing senior physician in Frankfurt and a professorship in Erlangen, I have now been chief physician in Nuremberg for 12 years.