Folke Sjöqvist, honorary member and former Inspector, has died

Medicinska Föreningen has long roots that stretch back over a century, to a time when Karolinska Institutet only had a medical program. In 1877, Medicinska Föreningen was founded in the salons of Hotel Fenix. Although the organizational memory does not always extend so far back in time, we remember the incredibly important people who have been with us throughout history with respect and reverence. It was therefore with great sadness that we received the news that the student union’s Inspector between 1975–81 and honorary member Folke Sjöqvist left us earlier this year.

The picture of Folke Sjöqvist can be found on the second floor in the union house in Solna. By Lennart Nilsson.

In addition to being a professor of clinical pharmacology and its founder in Sweden, Folke Sjöqvist was very influential in the development of the medical program at Karolinska Institutet. Eugen Steiner, Med Dr. and specialist in Clinical Pharmacology, the Medicinska Föreningen’s vice President 1981-82 and Folke’s doctoral student during 1978–87 remembers him as instrumental in the development of the medical program. “Linjenämnden”, the equivalent of today’s program committee, was established in 1977 and at that time had as many teachers as student representatives (!). Folke was asked by both students and the Faculty Board if he could consider taking on the role of chair of Linjenämnden, which he was between 1980–87. Folke was involved in implementing an earlier patient contact in the education similar to the one on the medical program today. With a past as Inspector for Medicinska Föreningen 1975–81, he had good trust from the students, with involvement in both Medicinska Föreningen and Karolinska Institutet.

Folke was one of the few people I have met who had the ability to have both a helicopter perspective and a tight focus on the details. In addition, he was an extremely social person and a very supportive manager.

Med. Dr. Eugen Steiner

Arne Ljungqvist, world-renowned doping hunter, physician and professor of pathology remembers his colleague well. Arne was chair of “Utbildningsnämden” before Folke, which was later renamed “Linjenämnden”. Arne and Folke together with their colleague Ingemar Björkhem started an internationally accredited doping laboratory at Huddinge Hospital, and their close collaboration soon developed into a true friendship. Arne remembers his friend as a clear-sighted person regarding the scientific quality requirements that should be set, both in medical education and anti-doping work. Folke also had a strong ability to make things happen, something that Arne Ljungqvist was impressed by.

It was a very pleasant collaboration that led to a genuine friendship.

Prof. Arne Ljungqvist

Mikael Ohrling, Healthcare Chief Executive of Health Care Services Stockholm County (SLSO), specialist in internal and general medicine, honorary member and President of Medicinska Föreningen 1984, remembers Folke well. Below are some well-chosen words:

Folke was a person with many talents. An eloquent and imposing Inspector who on the first amphiox gasque granted us amphioxes entry into MF. It was Folke’s last year as an Inspector and my first as a medical student. The following year, we traveled with winter road teams in my old “evil green bubble” to Strängnäs to attend Karin Molins, “Mollans”, funeral. A journey filled with warmth, despite non-functioning cabin elements, care and genuine interest of us young students.

It was followed by many years of acquaintance. Both during my time as an MF active when Folke was a very committed chair of the medical students’ “Linjenämnden”. Folke was one of the professors who thought it was at least as important to conduct basic education as research. Therapy conferences in each clinical subject became a matter of course that was appreciated by us students. A number of years later, when I was involved in pharmaceutical questions in various ways, Folke was a constantly knowledgeable and helpful advisor and mentor. We shared a common love for Gotland. Folkes loved Hamra, which I am just now passing on the way to Hoburgen.

Folke’s efforts for Medicinska Föreningen both before, during and after his time as Inspector are among the student union’s most significant.

With his involvement in education, research and the student union, Folke Sjöqvist has been involved in ensuring that students’ voices are heard and their conditions improved. On his 50th birthday, Folke established a scholarship fund (Folke Sjöqvists 50-årsfond) which aims to promote the pedagogical development of medical program at Karolinska Institutet. Money from this fund is distributed every year by us, and it reminds us at Medicinska Föreningen of how much Folke has meant to the student union’s history.

Medicinska Föreningen thanks Folke Sjöqvist for his commitment and drive and for everything he has done for students and members at Karolinska Institutet and Medicinska Föreningen.

Please note that this is a translation of the original post in Swedish.