Dr. Péter Szeverényi, MD PhD Obstetrician – Gynaecologist, Clinical Psychologist (1949-2023)
Dr Szeverényi belonged to those few in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology in Hungary who represent the family-centred obstetrics practice, the psychosomatic approach in care – for long decades. His compassionate personality, respectful towards patients as much as towards colleagues, meant support and safety for everyone. We are all deeply saddened by the news of his passing away. Now we, his former and present colleagues and friends, pay our respect to him and to his remarkable career, on behalf of his patients, too.
Dr. Szeverényi received his medical degree in 1973 at the University of Medicine in Debrecen and started his career at the Women’s Clinic. With his carefully planned and established work programme he greatly contributed to the development and dissemination of psychosomatics in obstetrics and gynaecology. His activity, his ground-breaking work is a worthy continuation of the traditions of our university. He participated in numerous national and international conferences presenting the results of his research, as a pioneer in Hungary in those fields. Among them we must mention the study of psychological and sexual changes during pregnancy and postpartum, that of the psychological effects of childbirth on the couple after both of them being involved in the birth, as well as defining the prevalence of depression and anxiety in case of different gynaecological conditions, including the trailblazing research on the psychosocial aspects of healing, too.
The significant, positive effect of Péter Szeverényi’s decades-long activity is still remarkable today. It was upon his initiative that the fathers’ presence during birth, the rooming-in care facilities became everyday practices, and thus, the Clinic of Obstetrics in Debrecen was the first one in Europe to receive the esteemed Baby-friendly Hospital recognition. Moreover, he was also among the founders of the Institute of Behavioural Sciences in Debrecen. Thanks to his persistence, to his creativity our understanding of the professional personality and the culture and technique of the compassionate doctor-patient relationship have become enriched and more elaborate. His commitment was to be recognised in the founding and the 25-year long activity of the Hungarian Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, as well.
I am proud to call myself a former student, a colleague and a friend of Péter’s. Although now we must say goodbye to him, I sincerely hope that his wisdom, his clever thoughts, his smiling and serene personality will stay with us for a long time. All of us who knew him, who could give birth under his care or could be born with his help must be grateful for his life.
Dr. Zsuzsa Török
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