Semmelweis University

Meeting with the representatives of the Iranian Shahid Beheshti Medical University

A delegation of the Iranian Shahid Beheshti Medical University, led by Dr. Ali Asghar Peyvandi president, visited Semmelweis University. The primary aim of the introductory visit was to identify the mutual areas of collaboration. The six members of the delegation were welcomed by Dr. Ágoston Szél rector, Dr. György Bagdy vice-rector for scientific affairs, Dr. Romána Zelkó dean and by Dr. Marcel Pop director of international relations. Dr. Gyula Szigeti, vice-president of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office also participated in the meeting.

Dr. Afshin Zarghi, deputy for research and technology, briefly introduced the Iranian university and he talked about the educational and research activities focusing on research conducted in drug development and food safety. Drug research was a central topic of the discussions during the meeting, therefore the representatives of Shahid Beheshti Medical University introduced their Faculty of Pharmacy and its scientific activities separately.

The Iranian delegation was familiarized with the most important university research groups by Dr. György Bagdy. Afterwards Dr. Romána Zelkó provided details about the research activities of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Semmelweis University conducted at the areas of endocrinology, oncological diseases and personalized medicine.

Dr. Hassan Yazdanpanah, science and technology attaché of the Embassy of Iran in Budapest informed the participants that at the end of 2015 a technology related Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Budapest and Tehran, with the assistance of Dr. József Pálinkás, president of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office. According to Dr. Yazdanpanah the joint fund created on these grounds provides a great opportunity for the establishment and development of research cooperations between the two institutions in the future.

At the end of the meeting Rector Szél concluded that pharmacy seems to be the mutual area of collaboration that enables the cooperation the most effectively. Besides pharmacy Rector Szél also sees opportunities in a possible cooperation between the doctoral schools of the two institutions. Rector Szél assured the representatives of the Iranian university that students from Iran are all coming to Semmelweis University with a very good, strong knowledge base.

Katalin Romhányi, Directorate of International Relations
Photo: Attila Kovács, Semmelweis University
Translated by: Katalin Romhányi

Semmelweis University

Summer training programmes and student exchange programmes at Semmelweis University

Participants from Japan and the United Arab Emirates, based on earlier signed agreements, took part in the summer training programmes organized at Semmelweis University.

Four Japanese pathologists participated in a one-week special training programme entitled Post Mortem in Practice based on the cooperation with the Japanese Society of Pathology. The programme organized by the 2nd Department of Pathology and led by Dr. Tibor Glasz, provided the opportunity for Japanese specialists to extend their knowledge in the field of post mortem pathological diagnostics. The training programme focused on the practical implementation, which was highly appreciated by the participants, since Japanese pathologists do not have enough opportunities to do autopsies in Japan. The training was held during the first week of August, and it consisted of the following parts: histology, consultation in citology and making reports. The professional recognition of the training programme is proven by the fact that the Japanese Society of Pathology provides all participants with 5 credits, which can be validated during their specialization. Besides the professional training, Hungarian culture was also introduced to the guests with the help of the cultural events organized by the Directorate of International Relations.

On the basis of a cooperation started in 2011, altogether 12 medical students arrived from Gulf Medical University from the United Arab Emirates to take part in the summer training programme offered by Semmelweis University. During the one-month training the participating students had the opportunity to get acquainted with the various research fields at the Faculty of Health Sciences such as rheumatology, neurology, hydrotherapy, ergotherapy, sport therapy; as well as with the everyday life of several departments at the Faculty of Dentistry:  the Department of Conservative Dentistry, the Department of Prosthodontics, the Department of Oral Diagnostics, the Department of Periodontology, the Department of Paedodontics and Orthodontics and the Department of Oro-Maxillofacial Surgery and Stomatology. In their feedback the participating students highlighted the opportunity to be able to take part in the daily life of the institutes. The two coordinators at the two faculties were Dr. Mónika Horváth and Dr. Mónika Balázs.

Semmelweis University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saitama Medical University in 2002, and this agreement related to student exchange was extended in 2013 for an indefinite period. In the framework of the agreement, this year again two Hungarian medical students spent their one-month surgical training in Saitama in July. They returned from Japan accompanied by two Japanese medical students who participated in the one-month training programme organized by Semmelweis University. The Japanese students both spent two weeks at the Heart and Vascular Centre, after which one of them continued the training at the 1stDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, while the other participant did so at the 2ndDepartment of Internal Medicine.

In their positive feedback the Japanese students expressed that the programme exceeded their expectations both professionally and personally. They were truly fascinated by the wonderful architecture and the historical sites of Budapest, especially by Gellért Hill and Andrássy Avenue. As regards Semmelweis University, they expressed their appreciation about the preparedness and helpful attitude of medical doctors, about their good relationship with employees of the clinics and about the friendliness of Hungarian and foreign medical students. They highlighted that besides the gained professional experience, the clinical training was greatly efficient in practising the English language as well.


Marianna Kovács, Györgyi Makádi – Directorate of International Relations
Translation: Katalin Romhányi

Semmelweis University

“A degree received at Semmelweis University means warranty” – ceremony of conferment at the Faculty of Dentistry

This academic year 140 medical students graduated at the Faculty of Dentistry: 31 summa cum laude, 93 cum laude and 16 rite degrees were handed over. 96 students finished their studies in Hungarian, 37 of them in English, and 7 of them in German language.

The graduating medical students have taken their official oath before the conferment, and afterwards were conferred upon the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine by Dr. Péter Hermann, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs and Dr. Gábor Gerber, Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry.

The freshly graduated Doctors of Dental Medicine were asked by Vice-Rector Hermann to always remain loyal to the oath that they have taken in order to care for and heal patients, to contribute to the achievement of the goals set by health care, to do their professional duty with the utmost diligence, to maintain and develop their theoretical and practical knowledge at a high standard and to act as enthusiastic participants of the Hungarian health care system.

On behalf of the freshly graduated Doctors of Dental Medicine Dr. Katinka Zsanett Kesjár and Dr. Vakilian Yasaman addressed the audience.

“What does it mean to graduate as a Doctor of Dental Medicine at Semmelweis University? During our studies we were provided with an attitude with the help of which we will be able to choose the best treatment for our patients on our own. We were taught by the university how to make decisions with the help of evidence based medicine. A degree received at the Faculty of Dentistry of Semmelweis University means warranty. We are not only restoring teeth but healing the entire system. It is important to deal with the causes, not just the consequences. A dentist has a significant role in identifying and recognizing diseases that might have an effect on other organs, too. As once we were told in a funny way: a dentist should never forget that ‘there is always a person at the end of a tooth’.”, said Dr. Katinka Zsanett Kesjár.

During the ceremony the following awards were handed over to the freshly graduated Doctors of Dental Medicine: the awardees of the Károly Balogh Medallion and Award were Dr. Anna Valentovics and Dr. Zoltán Kelemen; the Gyula Máthé Award was handed over to Vera Lili Bognár and Ádám Kleofás Nagy.

Dean Gerber started his opening speech with the song written by Shakira for the FIFA world cup in 2010. According to him the lyrics of the song remind the freshly graduated Doctors of Dental Medicine of their first year at the university and the period before when they were excited about their entrance examination. 

“I believe that all of you felt the pressure of the new responsibility ahead of you, but you also knew that you have the inner power to successfully cope with the challenges. Indeed, the strength and the energy are there in all of you, which is clearly proven by this conferment ceremony today. A degree received at Semmelweis University has prestige in several countries, and it shows that its owner is well-prepared for healing the patients with evidence based medicine. However, this does not mean that you will be able to do all the dental interventions confidently on your own in the beginning. Resident training under the supervision of experienced doctors of dental medicine, as well as years of professional experience are very important, since these are essential for mastering and accomplishing the more complex treatments.”, expressed Dean Gerber.

Dean Gerber truly hopes that the past five years will enable the freshly graduated Doctors of Dental Medicine to develop a good critical thinking with which they will handle the newly appearing treatments and methods. Doing the interventions with a science-based approach differs so much from being under the influence of economic and emotional aspects. Dean Gerber reminded the graduates that they should constantly maintain and develop their theoretical and practical knowledge for the sake of healing the patients and for the sake of themselves, too.

“You have now become alumni of our university. On the basis of your oath you have just taken, you are required to do your best to promote and keep the good name of Semmelweis University. I assure you that our university will remain open for you and will provide you with all the support to be able to be successful in keeping its good name.”, expressed Dean Gerber.

During the ceremony Dr. István Gera held a speech for the freshly graduated Doctors of Dental Medicine in English. Associate Professor Dr. András Kóbor, who is retiring after having spent forty years at education, addressed the audience in German.

Szilvia Tóth-Szabó
Photo: Valter Berecz
Translation: Katalin Romhányi


Semmelweis University

477 Doctors of Medicine have graduated at the Faculty of Medicine

During the 246th Graduation Ceremony of the Faculty of Medicine the degree of Doctor of Medicine was conferred upon 320 Hungarian and 157 international medical students by Dr. Ferenc Bánhidy, Vice-Rector for General Affairs, and Dr. László Hunyady, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. The ceremony was held at Papp László Budapest Sportaréna. In his speech addressed to the freshly graduated Doctors of Medicine Dr. Ferenc Bánhidy said that they should always remain loyal to the oath that they have taken in order to care for and heal patients, to accomplish all of their responsibilities, to do their professional duty with the utmost diligence, to maintain their theoretical and practical knowledge at a high level and to be such thoughtful citizens of our country who can make sacrifices.

After the conferment Dr. Máté Jancsó addressed the audience on behalf of the students graduating in the Hungarian language programme.

“During our medical studies we have learnt how to work in a team and to concentrate on our own goals in the meantime. According to many people the most difficult part is still ahead of us. We have many reasons to be excited but there is no need to be afraid. The six years spent at the university have prepared us to be successful in solving unexpected situations by always considering the patients’ interests instead of waiting for the ready-made solutions.”, emphasized Dr. Jancsó.

On behalf of the students graduating in the German language programme Dr. Vanessa Maldera addressed the audience in both German and Hungarian. On behalf of the students graduating in the English language programme Dr. Alexander Trenk and Dr. Suhali Kundu held a speech.

“Semmelweis University provides its students with a medical training based on scientific grounds that is also accredited internationally. Among the almost 20 000 higher education institutions Semmelweis University is one of the best known in the ranking. Semmelweis University was also listed among the best 600 universities worldwide as the only Hungarian university in the latest ranking prepared by The Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Our university was also listed among the first 600 universities in the latest ranking of University Ranking by Academic Performance. Within its own scientific area Semmelweis University is ranked at the place 151-200- in the field of medical training by QS World University Rankings. It is also an indicator of success that there are several international medical students studying at Semmelweis University. 48 % of the 4169 medical students studying at the Faculty of Medicine participate in the English- or German language programmes. Besides knowledge, students receive the tradition of almost two and a half centuries as a parting gift, of which every student will be a successor.”, said Dean Hunyady in his speech.

Commemorating Ignác Semmelweis, Dean Hunyady pointed out the fact that medical training does not finish by earning the degree. One of the most important responsibilities of the university is to prepare for lifelong learning. According to Dean Hunyady one should not stop, not even for a second, because it is not possible to meet the requirements of the growing challenges in patient care without modern updated knowledge. He emphasized that besides high level theoretical and practical knowledge another important characteristic feature of a doctor is empathy. The roots of medical profession are the positive and caring attitude towards people.

“You are all starting a new journey, and if you work hard and believe in yourselves, it will bring you a lot of joy. Your purposes will then come true about which you are now dreaming as freshly graduated Doctors of Medicine. Finally, please allow me to quote the following lines from one of the songs of Deniz to you: “Never give up your dreams, do not let failure break your wings.””, said Dean Hunyady to the freshly graduated Doctors of Medicine.

Tímea Kele
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Translation: Katalin Romhányi


Semmelweis University

Clinical forum: paradigm shift at Semmelweis University

“Semmelweis University is on the way of a paradigm shift”, Dr. Béla Merkely, President of the Clinical Centre summed up the most important message of the clinical forum.

As Dr. Merkely explained, in order to operate a full clinical portfolio successfully, the development of progressive health care and the establishment of a structured regional system are necessary.

The forum on the Clinical Centre’s present and future was held by Dr. Béla Merkely, Vice-Rector for Clinical Affairs, Dr. Ágoston Szél, Rector, Dr. Károly Szász, Chancellor and Dr. Péter Cserháti, Ministerial Commissioner responsible for health care development in the Central Hungarian region. The event taking place in the Basic Medical Science Centre attracted much attention from the University’s students and employees.

In his opening speech Dr. Ágoston Szél recalled that earlier, during his term as rector, he used to be the President of the Clinical Centre as well, but after the introduction of the Chancellery the idea of the system’s reorganisation arose. As a result, the responsibilities of the Rector, the Chancellor and the President of the Clinical Centre have been separated and have been operating accordingly ever since.

“The reorganisation was by all means useful, since the president of the centre is a competent clinician, has more insight in clinical affairs and takes responsibility for several difficult decisions. Together with Dr. Béla Merkely we strive to increase Semmelweis University’s prestige among the health care providers of Budapest in the coming years.”, Rector Szél said.

Dr. Béla Merkely held a presentation to doctors, health care professionals and medical students about the activities and future endeavours of the Clinical Centre.

“The presidential members of the centre have been working together since last October. First of all, we assessed the position of the clinics and the health care situation of the Central Hungarian region, with a special focus on the current role and future opportunities of Semmelweis University.  The university clinics in Szeged and Pécs have taken a step ahead of Semmelweis University, as they are the major providers in their own regions and have already merged with regional hospitals.”, said Dr. Merkely.

This process is already under way in Debrecen as well, where the concept of a university teaching hospital has appeared. Based on a survey Semmelweis University’s portfolio is incomplete and there would be a need for the realisation of a university teaching hospitalfunction here as well.

One of the strengths of Semmelweis University is its position in the Central Hungarian region, which is one of the largest agglomeration. Here is a prominent centre for international education, there is a strong international research community, and a well-developed pharmaceutical industry, which Semmelweis University could use to develop its professional portfolio. However, the university’s   weaknesses include the fragmented structure of the clinics, the old-fashioned infrastructure, the low quality of hoteling services, old buildings, a redundant system, the difficult mobilization of the university structure, and the time-consuming preparations for decision-making.

“The basis of the development of clinics is a unified system of university health care. There is no medical education without a strong background in practical training and a clinical network.”, said Dr. Merkely.

Semmelweis University is the largest medical institution in Hungary, 6% of all health care activities take place here. All activities related to patient care should be present at the university ranging from practical courses to progressive health care of the highest level. The difficulties also justify the need for a paradigm shift: a structured regional system of health care should be created in order to operate the entire clinical portfolio successfully. Regarding this year’s budget, the opportunities of the clinics have been moderately improved, and the university has been provided with 500 million HUF by the Higher Education Structural Change Fund.

There is a need for the increase of acute patient care, because those activities are not affected by a volume limit set by the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary. Along with the realisation of greater capacity, it is also important to establish international specialized training centres at the clinics with a large patient turnover in order to participate in the international medical trainings within Hungary.

“The operation of a clinic should also be patient-friendly, supportive of the relatives, transparent and warm-hearted. It is not possible to provide good quality patient care where the employees are frustrated and the atmosphere is stern.”, said Dr. Merkely.

In order to meet the goals, it is inevitable to mobilize inner resources, to have a reasonable economic management, to optimize the structure, to open towards private financing, to increase the number of international graduate and post-graduate students as well as that of clinical trials and to increase the university’s role in the health care industry by founding spin off companies.

The planned changes could result in making doctors and health care professionals stay in Hungary, increasing the number of residents and ensuring further training at the clinics for future doctors. In accordance with this endeavour a performance-based financial and ethical appreciation system should be set up at the clinics.

The President of the Clinical Centre talked about the changes that have occurred since last October, such as the clinical centralizations enabling a more economical and more efficient operation, the founding of an independent Oncological Centre and the installation of a PET-CT. Dr Merkely announced that the university will probably have a new PET-CT by the end of the year.

During the forum the long term plans were also mentioned.  The university would establish a campus in Buda with governmental support, which would increase the educational capacity. New blocks would emerge within the structure of Szent János Kórház in order to balance the inequalities in the capital city’s patient care, where Semmelweis University would place its entire capacity of paediatrics.

Afterwards Dr. Péter Cserháti held a lecture about health care related developments and transformations in the Central Hungarian region in the past years, and welcomed the changes the university has started to make since last year.

The Ministerial Commissioner and the leaders of the university held a question and answer session at the end of the forum.

Szilvia Tóth-Szabó
Photo: Attila Kovács
Translation: Ágnes Raubinek