Union of the
The Medical Specialty for Communication and Swallowing Disorders

Prof. Frantisek Sram, MD, Ph.D.

8.6.1935 Nove Mesto nad Metuji, 2. 12. 2021 Prague

He was born into a family of doctors and graduated in 1959 from the Faculty of General Medicine of Charles University in Prague. From 1960 to 1969 he was employed at the Phoniatric Clinic of the General University Hospital of Charles' University in Prague. He was the student of the founders of the Czech phoniatrics, professor Seeman and associate professor Sedlackova, and he continued in their work. During his studies, he received electromyographic education at the Neurological Clinic in Prague (1963-1967) and completed a study stay at the ENT Department of the Phillips University Marburg/Lahn, Germany under prof. Berendes (1967-1969). In 1977, he defended candidate's dissertation "Activity of m. vocalis and m. cricothyroideus during phonation." From 1969 to 1987, he worked as an assistant professor at the ENT clinic Institute for Further Training of Physicians and Pharmacists in Prague (ILF, later renamed to Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education IPVZ). In 1987, he habilitated in the field of otorhinolaryngology and phoniatrics, became associate professor and the head of the Department of Phoniatrics and Audiology of the IPVZ, where he worked until 1998.

In 1990, he began to organize postgraduate courses in phoniatrics and clinical speech therapy, almost exclusively in cooperation with foreign experts. In 1991, he founded an outpatient Centre for Communication Disorders, Medical Healthcom Ltd. in Prague, providing care in phoniatrics, outpatient otorhinolaryngology and logopedics. The Centre was located in four pavilions of a former nursery and included a social welfare institution for children with voice, speech, and hearing impairments. The Centre operated nation-wide as well as internationally and was involved in scientific, pedagogical and organizational activities.

The work of Frantisek Sram was based on the principles of Prague Phoniatric School. He represented this school internationally during his travels abroad and his activities in the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP) and in the Union of European Phoniatricians (UEP). He strived for better care for patients with hearing and speech disorders, heavily focusing on voice disorders. In 1996, he was the very first clinician in the world who, in collaboration with Jan Svec and Harm K. Schutte, introduced videokymography for clinical examination of patients with voice disorders and started to use it in routine phoniatric practice to obtain a more detailed diagnosis of voice disorders. Based on thousands of clinical recordings he made, the method of videokymography became accepted world-wide as a useful clinical research tool.

The work of Frantisek Sram was officially recognized and appreciated by, e.g., silver medal for the Best Scientific Video (Svec, Sram, Schutte: Introduction to Videokymography) at the World ENT Congress in Sydney (1997), honorary membership of the Union of European Phoniatricians (Aachen 2013), honorary medal of the Czech ENT Society (Prague 2015), or honorary membership of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (Dublin 2016). Even in the last years of his life, he actively communicated with phoniatricians in Czech Republic and abroad.

Frantisek Sram loved and developed medicine all his life and he was devoted to his beautiful extended family – his wife Tatana, his four children Katerina, Barbora, Jakub and Ondrej, and his grandchildren. Among his friends, he will be remembered not only as a clinician and scientist, but also as a gentleman and a very special person.

Dear Mr. Associate Professor, dear Frantisek, I thank you on my own behalf and on behalf of the Czech Society of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery of the Czech Medical Society of J.E. Purkyne for everything you have done for Czech and European phoniatrics.

Honor to your memory.

Viktor Chrobok

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