Norman Sartorius

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Norman Sartorius
NationalityCroatian and German
Alma materSchool of Medicine, University of Zagreb, MD
OccupationPsychiatrist, psychologist,medical educator, public health specialist
ChildrenOne daughter, Danielle

Norman Sartorius (born 1935[1]) is a Croatian psychiatrist and university professor. Sartorius is a former director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Division of Mental Health, and a former president of the World Psychiatric Association and of the European Psychiatric Association. He has been described as "one of the most prominent and influential psychiatrists of his generation".[2]


Sartorius was born in Münster, Germany[1] but grew up in Koprivnica[3] and Zagreb, Croatia [4] After his parents separated, he was raised by his mother, Feđa Fischer-Sartorius, a renowned pediatrician.[3] Sartorius obtained his M.D. from the School of Medicine, University of Zagreb in 1958, and his B.Sc. and M.A. in psychology from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb in 1962. He finished his specialization in psychiatry and neurology in 1963 and defended his Ph.D. thesis in psychology at the University of Zagreb in 1965.[4] After obtaining his Ph.D., and passing the speciality tests for Neurology and Psychiatry Sartorius spent two years at the University of London on a British Council stipend.[3][5]

In 1967, Sartorius left his job at the University Hospital Center in Zagreb to join the WHO.[6] as the Head of the WHO Interregional Advisory Team on Epidemiology of Mental Disorders.[5] He then took the position of Medical Officer responsible for epidemiological and social psychiatry and in 1974 became the Chief of the Mental Health Unit. In 1977 he was appointed Director of the Division of Mental Health of WHO, a position which he held until 1993.[7] He served as the President of the World Psychiatric Association (1993–1999) and of the Association of European Psychiatrists (1997–2001).[5][7]

Sartorius became a full professor at the University of Geneva in 1993.[4] Sartorius also held full professorships at the University of Zagreb and University of Prague.[4] He retired as a full professor in Geneva and Prague in 2001.[5] He has worked as a visiting or adjunct professor at the University of London, Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, the University of Beijing, Washington University in St. Louis, the New York University, the University of Belgrade and the University of Florida.[5]

Sartorius is a Fellow of the British Royal Society of Medicine, honorary member of Medical Academies in Croatia, Mexico and Peru, and a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Spain and of the Croatian Academy of Arts and sciences, Honoris causa Doctor of Medicine of the Umeå University, of the Timișoara/Temisvar University Victor Babes and of the Charles University in Prague. He is also an Honorary Doctor of Science of the University of Bath in 1990.[8] and an honorary doctor of psychology of the University of Copenhagen. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists of the United Kingdom, and of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. He is a Fellow or an honorary member of numerous other professional organizations.

Scientific work[edit]

Sartorius' work deals with epidemiology of mental disorders and social psychiatry as well as with various issues related to schizophrenia, depression, and health service delivery.[7] Major themes in his current work and public activity are rights of patients with mental disorders and struggle against stigma and prejudices associated with mental illness, co morbidity of mental and physical illness and improvement of mental health services.[3][7][9]

Between 1961 and 2008, Sartorius published more than 400 scientific works.[1] According to the Web of Science, Sartorius' articles have been cited more than 35.000 times, and his h-index is 76.[1] He has authored, co-authored or edited 66 books.[5]

At the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in 2007, Sartorius disclosed his conflict of interests. He worked as consultant or in the advisory boards of Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen-Cilag, Lilly, Lundbeck, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.[10]

Awards [11][edit]

  • 1980 Rema Lapouse Award
  • 2002 Harvard Award in Psychiatric Epidemiology and Statistics
  • 2003 Burgholzli award for Clinical and Social Psychiatry
  • 2005 Prince Mahidol Award in Medicine
  • 2012 Eli Lilly Welcome Back Award
  • 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • 2016 Wilhelm-Griesinger Prize from the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
  • 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations

Personal life[edit]

Sartorius currently lives in Geneva and Zagreb with his wife Vera. The two are married since 1963 and have a daughter.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Medicina u eri decivilizacije" (Microsoft Word document) (Press release) (in Croatian). Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  2. ^ "GE awards to the eminent persons". Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Gaura, Orhidea (11 May 2010). "Norman Sartorius – humana misija psihijatra vizionara" [Norman Sartorius – humane mission of a visionary psychiatrist]. Nacional (in Croatian) (756). Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d "Prof. dr. sc. Norman Sartorius" (PDF). (in Croatian). School of Medicine, University of Osijek. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Professor Norman Sartorius" (PDF). Societa Italiana di Psicopatologia. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Norman Sartorius, M.D., M.A., D.P.M., Ph.D., FRC. Psych" (PDF). World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d "Norman Sartorius, M.D." Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present". University of Bath. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  9. ^ "Duševne bolesnike tretira se kao gubavce!". Glas Slavonije (in Croatian). 19 February 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  10. ^ American Psychiatric Association (2007, May 19-24), Program of the 160th Annual Meeting: Continuing medical education policy on full disclosure (p. XXXIII), San Diego, California. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Norman Sartorius, MD, MA, DPM, PhD, FRC Psych". Retrieved 25 June 2015.