Person-centered Medicine and the Perspective of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics – the example of screening for chromosomal abnormalities in pregnancy

Main Article Content

Wolfgang Holzgreve
Gamal I Serour


The International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO: which has member societies in 124 countries/territories across five regions, supports the concept of Person-centered Medicine, because our global organization shares the value of person- and people-centeredness, ethical aspirations, communication skills and respect for cultural diversity. In this article, first some general statements about the mission of FIGO, its aims, organizational structure and current activities are made and then a current example of Person-centered Medicine from the area of prenatal screening is considered in more detail.

Article Details

Third Geneva Conference on Person-Centered Medicine: Special Initiatives for Person-centered Care
Author Biography

Wolfgang Holzgreve, European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology EBCOG; World Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics FIGO

Wolfgang Holzgreve is currently Treasurer of the European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology EBCOG, and one of the five Officers of the World Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics FIGO. He is the FIGO representative to the WHO and UN in Geneva and has worked for WHO in many capacities. He graduated from the University of Münster Medical School. He also obtained  a Master of Science degree from the University of California in Berkeley. He became a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology in Germany, did his postdoctoral fellowship in reproductive genetics at the University of California in San Francisco between 1982 and 1984 and became Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Münster. In 1995 he was appointed as chair of  the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. From there he was recruited back to Germany to become the Medical Director and Chair of the Board of Directors of the University of Freiburg. Currently he is on a sabbatical at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, where he is doing research on Maternal-/Child-Health in Low Income Countries. Prof. Holzgreve´s main research has been in the area of prenatal diagnosis and therapy where he has been a strong advocate of Person-centered Medicine. Besides his involvement in the development of invasive techniques, an emphasis in research and development over the last 20 years was Non-invasive Prenatal Diagnosis from maternal blood. His research resulted in more than 500 original papers, more than 10 books, Editorial Board memberships of 15 journals. He was Editor-in-chief of the Journal Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy for many years, and currently he is the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. He received many awards including the Maternite award, the Liley medal etc, and received five honorary doctoral degrees. He was President of the German Societies of Reproductive Medicine and of Prenatal Medicine as well as President of the Swiss Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.