Professor Zygmunt Kalicinski was born in Kobryd in the eastern part of Poland in 1927. He graduated from the Medical College of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow in 1952. After being mobilized into the Polish army, he moved to Warsaw where he became a military doctor. At that time he began to specialize in pediatric surgery under the direction and guidance of Professor Jan Kossakowski, the pioneer of modem pediatric surgery in Poland.
His association with Professor Kossakowski was a long and close one. In 1965, Professor Kalicinski became the Director of the Department of Pediatric Surgery at the Postgraduate Center of the Military Medical Academy in Warsaw, and in 1984 he was named Professor of Pediatric Surgery. Professor Kalicinski traveled widely and became friendly with many eminent British and other foreign pediatric surgeons. Early in his career he trained in London with Professor David Waterston and Professor Innes Williams at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street.
He organized many congresses and symposiums, including the 1976 British Association of Pediatric Surgeons meeting in Warsaw. He was an honorary member of 12 associations of pediatric surgeons. From 1980 until the end of his life. Professor Kalicinski was President of the Polish Association of Pediatric Surgeons. In that capacity, he invited prominent pediatric surgeons from all over the world to come to Poland to lecture. This was important because at that time Polish physicians were not free to travel abroad, and buying textbooks and medical journals was financially impossible.
As conditions improved, Professor Kalicinski helped to establish foundations dedicated to sending Polish pediatric surgeons and neonatologists to distinguished centers abroad (USA, UK, Japan, Germany) in order for them to study and increase their knowledge and expertise. He obtained money from Polish banks and insurance companies to send his colleagues and young associates to international scientific congresses and to buy equipment and educational materials.
Professor Kalicinski was a talented and brilliant surgeon. He was particularly interested in pediatric urology and developed new surgical techniques, including the Foley catheter rupture of posterior urethral valves, the folding technique for megaureter, and an antireflux procedure for double ureters in which the ureters are separated and reimplanted into separate submucosal tunnels. He was kind and sensitive to the needs of his patients and their parents. He taught his students how to think clinically, to avoid the routine in making a diagnosis, and how to choose on an individual basis the most suitable methods of treatment.