A urologist who looks his patients straight in the eye

(Stuttgart/Tübingen) – Prof. Arnulf Stenzl was the Medical Director of the Department of Urology at the University of Tübingen for 21 years. In specialist circles, this former chairman of the German Society of Urology (DGU) is regarded as an internationally renowned authority on reconstructive urology and the treatment of bladder and prostate cancer. As a researcher, he is currently involved in a German Research Foundation (DFG) project. Furthermore, he holds the patent for a device to treat urinary incontinence. As General Secretary of the European Association of Urology (EAU), he is keen to represent the association’s 19,000 members as effectively as possible, which is why he is still working as a surgeon in the Urology department of Diakonie-Klinikum hospital in Stuttgart. When he wants to unwind, this 68-year-old gets on his racing bike – and generally opts to set off uphill.

Prof. Stenzl stands in the operating theater and holds the BioRegio STERN logo in front of his body at chest height.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Arnulf Stenzl, urologist and researcher.


Source: Andreas Körner/BioRegio STERN Management GmbH

It’s somewhat surprising to see this wiry-looking man immediately reaching for sweets, but Prof. Stenzl has come straight from the operating theatre. “Prostate, routine procedure,” he says briefly. “I often don’t have time to eat during the day. I have a lot of things on my mind, so eating isn’t really a priority. But I sometimes start to feel the effects of low blood sugar,” he explains. Prof. Stenzl is a keen endurance athlete. To switch off, he sometimes cycles the famous stage of the Tour de France that takes in the ascent of Mont Ventoux – a 20-kilometre route with a cumulative elevation gain of 1,594 metres. Closer to home in Tübingen, he also spends a lot of time out on his bike, usually alone. “On Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, I need my own space. I enjoy talking to people, but there comes a point when I’ve just had enough.” Sport is important to him – not least for his work, since this 68-year-old still regularly spends hours on end on his feet at the operating table.

After 21 years in the post of Medical Director of the Department of Urology at the University of Tübingen, Prof. Stenzl “retired” last September. The farewell speech in honour of this internationally renowned top clinician was given by the former President of Germany, Prof. Horst Köhler, who expressed his appreciation for the urologist – and not only from a patient’s perspective, as he was keen to emphasise. Needless to say, Prof. Stenzl has absolutely no intention of resting on his laurels, however, so he accepted an offer to join the urology team at Diakonie-Klinikum hospital in Stuttgart. The question is, why is this former medical director now performing routine surgical procedures? Prof. Stenzl explains: “I am the General Secretary of the European Association of Urology, which has 19,000 members. I can only represent them if I'm actively involved in clinical work myself – that’s the only way I can see what is and isn’t going well.” He takes a pragmatic approach to his “celebrity doctor” status. “In the everyday clinical setting, that’s of no interest to anyone here – but a well-known name can certainly be useful when it comes to applying for research funding.”


The next “Incisions and insights” workshop will be taking place live on site at the Institute of Clinical Anatomy and Cell Analysis in Tübingen on 26 June 2024.



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