Marc-Claude MARTI. 1941 - 2001
Marc-Claude Marti, my master and friend, died on September 26 2001 in Charm El Cheik by the Red Sea in Egypt. He was 60 years old. He died as he was living in without noise, in the serenity.
MCM was born on September 13 1941 in Geneva where his father was a surgeon. He told me many time that his life really began 6 years later, while he was recovering from encephalitis, which erased all his previous memories. He kept telling me: “How can you imagine to live quietly after such an experience, Bruno? “.
During his secondary school he was playing theatre, which worried his parents a lot, as they were persuaded that he would do that as a job. He said that he was not ready to study medicine but eventually went to the University and started his medical school. He was studying at the same time biology, as he was unsure of his future. He obtained his M.D., went on with his surgical education and as he was a visionary, went to Great Britain to learn colo-proctology.
He developed this surgical speciality at the Geneva University and at the same time, before anyone else, developed also ambulatory surgery in his outpatient unit. He was the first to describe the posterior perineal block, which gave him a world-wide fame.
He took as he was saying, his “bâton de pellerin”, to convince all the European societies of proctology to merge in the “European Council of Proctology”. For more than 15 years, he was the general secretary of this society, using his kindness and patience to bring more than 20 societies together. He promoted a lot of new techniques when it seemed that they would benefit the patients, as well as new surgical procedure for pelvic floor diseases. He was invited in many international congresses and participated in review of major Colo-proctologic journal. He was member of many scientific and surgical societies.
More impressive was the man. I would like to depict him in 3 words.
First, Marc-Claude Marti was an optimist. Every morning, when you asked him: “Bonjour, how are you today ?” He invariably answered: “ Fine, on principle !”
Later in the operating room, he asked to bring the second patient before he began to operate the first and finished exactly on time.
He was generous. Not only on a material point of view: to everyone who presented himself to him, he replied, “ Hi, how are you, may I do something for you ?» Many of us, coming to Geneva to meet him, remembered his generosity very well.
He was full of humour. He was ready, in all situations and in all languages, to tell one of his famous jokes. The time is hard, but I am sure my master would agree with me, if I tell you one of this story, which, if not real, is well found: “si non e vero e ben trovato” as it is said in italian.
“We were together in the examination room when came an English woman. My master examined her and as he was done with the rectal examination the patient asked him:
- “ Sorry to bother you Professor, but could you tell me with which finger did you do the examination?» Without any surprise, he answered:
- “ With the second finger of course!»
- “ Could you please repeat it with the third finger? which he did without an hesitation, but asked:
- “ Why do you wanted this to be done?»
- “ It is just for a second opinion!”, she told.
As I said Professor Marti was an optimistic. This gift he transmitted to me. He was generous and with generosity he appointed me at the head of the Unit of Proctology at the University of Geneva before he died.
Dear friends, today I can certify, I will continue to follow his steps and give to everyone the opportunity to come to Geneva to learn Proctology and receive a “second opinion”.