Norman Sartorius

For the woodworker and spoon carver, see Norm Sartorius.

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. He has been described as "one of the most prominent and influential psychiatrists of his generation".[2]


Sartorius was born in Münster,[1] but grew up in Koprivnica[3] and Zagreb.[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. 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 School of Medicine, University of Zagreb in 1965.[4] After obtaining his Ph.D., Sartorius spent some time 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] In the same year, he became the Head of the WHO Interregional Advisory Team on Epidemiology of Mental Disorders.[5] 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 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, University of Beijing, Washington University in St. Louis, New York University, and the University of Belgrade.[5]

Sartorius is a Fellow of the British Royal Society of Medicine, member of Medical Academies in Mexico and Peru, Honoris causa Doctor of Medicine of the Umeå University, and the University of Prague and was made an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Bath in 1990.[8] He is also an Honorary Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the Royal College of Psychiatrists of the United Kingdom, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, and the corresponding member of the Royal Medical Academy of Spain and the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.[1][5]

Scientific work

Sartorius' work dealt with epidemiology in social psychiatry, schizophrenia, depression, and health service delivery.[7] Major themes in his work and public activity are rights of mental patients, struggle against stigma and prejudices associated with mental illness, and improvement of mental health services.[3][7][9]

Between 1961 and 2008, Sartorius published more than 300 scientific works.[1] According to the Web of Science, Sartorius' articles have been cited more than 6,800 times, and his h-index is 37.[1] He has authored, co-authored or edited 66 books.[5]

Awards [10]

Personal life

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


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "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. 1 2 3 4 5 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. 1 2 3 4 "Prof. dr. sc. Norman Sartorius" (PDF). (in Croatian). School of Medicine, University of Osijek. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "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. 1 2 3 4 "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. "Norman Sartorius, MD, MA, DPM, PhD, FRC Psych.". Retrieved 25 June 2015.
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