Imre Magoss was born in Nagykáta (Hungary) in 1919 and went to elementary school there. Graduated from the Berzsenyi Dániel Gimnázium in Budapest in 1937 and was accepted to the Pázmány Péter University School of Medicine in the same year. He received his MD degree during the war in September 1943. He started his surgical residency at the University Hospital in Budapest but the war displaced him to the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of University Hospital Wurzburg and subsequently to the University Marburg and der Lahn in 1946.
He enlisted to the US Army 7720 EUCOM Replacement Depot in 1946, and worked as an ambulance driver, as a medical technician 1946-49 and was attending Civilian Physician in 1949-1951. He started his surgical residency at University Hospital, Western Reserve University, Cleveland Ohio, he completed his urology training there in 1955 and received his American Board of Urology Certification in 1960.
His work took him from Cleveland to SUNY at Buffalo in 1954 where he went through the ranks and became Professor of Urology in 1971, a title he held till his passing.
He married Margita Szabo MD, who became Professor of Anatomy at SUNY and they raised 2 children, Iris Cathy and Adam V.
Imre was humble and quiet, he let his brilliant hands do the talking in the operating room, but had the endless patience to teach, teach, and again teach the residents and the nurses who surrounded him. He was one of the pioneers to develop the surgical technique for retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for non-seminomatous germ cell tumor and published it in 1958 in JAMA. The films disseminated his flawless operative technique and formed the essentials for the urology curriculum. However, he never mentioned this to anyone. His work was well known and respected inside in the higher echelons of urologic surgeons. When he commented at meetings…the room went silent and with his soft manner, combining words with phenomenal linguistic skills and with perfect brevity, he bestowed his wisdom on the attendees.
He had a soft heart for children and was one the most prominent pediatric urologist in Western New York, inventing techniques in the treatment of vesico-ureteral reflux surgery. He was the first to establish a multidisciplinary clinic for children with spina bifida at the Children’s Hospital, a technique that was subsequently replicated all over in the US. Besides clinical interest, he enjoyed friends, good dinners with his ice-water and he was always with his handy pipe. Teaming up with his fellow Hungarian colleagues from Cleveland, he was one of the founding members of the HMAA. The Motto was: to cultivate the camaraderie between specialties, maintaining heritage and sharing the love of medicine, enhance knowledge and support newcomers to integrate into the new world and also into the society.
He had one incurable infectious effect on people: Whoever crossed his path, and got to know him, became a better physician and a better person whether he wanted to be or not. One of the few exceptions…