eISSN: 2299-551X
ISSN: 0011-4553
Journal of Stomatology
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vol. 75
In memoriam

In memory of Professor Krystyna Fetkowska-Mielnik

Maria Mielnik-Błaszczak
Dorota Krawczyk

Chair and Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
Online publish date: 2022/06/24
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Professor Krystyna Fetkowska-Mielnik, MD, PhD was an eminent specialist and creator of children dentistry in the Lublin macro-region. Her scholarly, didactic, and medical activities have always been driven by the inner need and passion. Professor Fetkowska- Mielnik was an exemplary scientist and organizer, model teacher, and tutor. She was extremely hard working and disciplined, characterized by multidisciplinary interests and sensitivity to problems of other people. She combined enormous knowledge, internal culture, and teaching skills – qualities, which so rarely appear together. Professor Krystyna Fetkowska-Mielnik was born on April, 28th, 1931. Having received her matriculation certificate in Warsaw, Krystyna Fetkowska-Mielnik began studying at the Faculty of Medicine at Medical Academy in Warsaw. She graduated in 1953 and was awarded a diploma of Doctor of Dentistry. In the same year, she began working at the Medical Academy of Lublin as an assistant. In 1963, she defended her doctoral dissertation and was granted the title MD, PhD. She had second-degree specialization in conservative dentistry and children’s dentistry. In 1979, based on her doctoral dissertation entitled “Research of cariostatic action of fluorine on tooth’s hard tissue”, she was awarded the title PhD, with habilitation degree. Krystyna Fetkowska-Mielnik became Associate Professor in 1987, and full Professor in 1994. Beginning with 1981, the Professor was the Head of the Developmental Age Department of Dentistry at the Medical University of Lublin. Professor Fetkowska-Mielnik was one of the people who combined scientific knowledge with characteristics of a great academic teacher and skilled organizer. She was characterized by multidisciplinary interests, sensitivity, and concern for healthy teeth of the youngest patients. She had second-degree specialization in conservative dentistry and children’s dentistry. Professor Fetkowska-Mielnik was one of the people who combine scientific knowledge with characteristics of a great academic teacher and skilled organizer. She was responsible for the organization of work at the Department. The Department dealt with dentistry prophylaxis and various types of hard tissue diseases and teeth injuries as well as different aspects of saliva immunology. Children requiring special attention were taken care at the Department. During her 20 years of active work as the Head of the Developmental Age of Dentistry Department, Professor Fetkowska-Mielnik made it one of the leading centers in Poland, created the Lublin School of Children Dentistry and initiated creation of various new research fields. She performed duties of provincial dentistry consultant for many years, and was a member of the National Postgraduate Training Commission in the scope of dentistry. Moreover, Professor Fetkowska-Mielnik fulfilled numerous functions at the Medical Academy in Lublin. In the years 1981-1988 and 1990-1996, she was deputy dean at the Dentistry Department of Medical Faculty at Medical Academy of Lublin; she was also a member of the Academy Senate and various Senate and Departmental Commissions. Active participation in scientific associations and organizations was her great contribution in the development of children’s dentistry. In the years 1980-1988, Professor Fetkowska-Mielnik was the Head of the Lublin Branch of Polish Dentistry Association, and in the years 1988-1996, for two terms, she performed the duties of the Head of the National Section of Children Dentistry. In that period, Krystyna Fetkowska-Mielnik organized four conventions, for which she invited renown guests from Poland and abroad. For two terms, Professor Fetkowska-Mielnik was the Head of the National Prophylaxis and Health Education Commission of the National Executive Council of the Polish Dentistry Association. She was awarded with golden distinction of the Polish Dentistry Association Bene Meritus in 1985, title of honorable member of the Polish Dentistry Association in 2001, and title of honorable member of the Association of Polish Doctors of Dentistry. Professor Krystyna Fetkowska-Mielnik dedicated many years of her life (1993-2001) as editor-in-chief of “Przegląd Stomatologii Wieku Rozwojowego” (“Deve­lopmental Age Dentistry Review”), and editor of the Polish-Ukrainian journal “Nowiny Stomatologii” (“Dentistry News”). Professor Fetkowska-Mielnik’s scholarly achievements include more than 200 works published in national and foreign journals and magazines. Krystyna Fetkowska-Mielnik’s interests focused mostly on the issues connected with etiology, pathogenesis, diagnostics and treatment of caries diseases in children, teeth injuries in children, methods of treatment with new compositional materials for reconstruction of hard tissues, dentistry problems in children requiring special care, and prophylaxis and propagation of oral cavity hygiene among children and teenagers. Actions aimed at improving the cooperation with foreign research centers where Krystyna Fetkowska- Mielnik used to be an intern, are especially worth mentioning. These centers include university in Toronto, Canada, universities in Germany (in Würzburg, Tubingen, among others), and universities in the USA, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein. The Professor was a member of prestigious scientific associations: the European Organization for Caries Research (ORCA), the International Association of Pediatric Dentistry (IAPD), Federation Dentaire Internationale (FDI), and Academy Pierre Fauchard (APF). Krystyna Fetkowska-Mielnik was also a member of the Polish Medical Association and the Lublin Scientific Association. Thirteen doctoral dissertations were written under the supervision of Professor Fetkowska-Mielnik; moreover, she reviewed 32 other dissertations and 3 post- doctoral theses. The Professor was also a reviewer of scholarly achievements for the title of professor. Numerous distinctions, awards, and decorations serve as an expression of great gratitude for Krystyna Fetkowska- Mielnik’s achievements, and contribution in the development and progress of children’s dentistry. She was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Knights’ Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Golden Cross of Merit, Distinction for Exemplary Work in Health Care, Medal on the Fiftieth Anniversary of Teaching Medicine in Lublin, Medal of the National Education Commission, individual award of the Minister of Health and Social Care for didactic achievements, team awards for scholarly achievements for a series of works on developmental age dentistry. During her 20 years of active work as the Head of the Developmental Age of Dentistry Department, Professor Fetkowska-Mielnik made it one of the leading centers in Poland, created the Lublin School of Children’s dentistry, and initiated creation of various new research fields. After retiring in 2001, Professor Fetkowska-Mielnik has not stopped working and teaching children’s dentistry. She advised other co-workers and made it possible for them to contact foreign specialists, thanks to the prestige and respect she had in the dentistry society in Poland and abroad. She published 220 scientific works in Polish and foreign journals and magazines. She had one patent, was editor of two course books, and reviewer of five books. Prof. Maria Mielnik-Błaszczak and Dr. Dorota Krawczyk Chair and Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
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