The Directorate of International Relations, in partnership with the Hungarian Medical Assocation of America (HMAA), welcomed 25 international students for their first ever Research Information Night and HMAA Meet Greet on Tuesday, February 5. As the feedback received by students was overwhelmingly positive, the Directorate is planning to organize similar events in the future.

The event comes on the heels of the annual HMAA Buffalo Program interviews – where 40 students were interviewed for 16 spots in the HMAA’s USA Senior Medical Student program. The program is funded in part by organizations such as Pallas Athéné Innovációs és Geopolitikai Alapítvány (PAIGEO), Hungarian American Enterprise Scholarship Fund, and Campus Mundi. It allows Hungarian medical students from the four Hungarian medical universities to take part in a 12-week credit program during their 6th year of studies. The program aims to promote student mobility, as well as a sharing of medical knowledge across universities.[1]

The idea for the information night came a few months ago, when Heléna Halász, a student ambassador for the HMAA and a Hungarian-American Medical Student in her 4th year, met with members of the Directorate. She voiced her interest in bringing international students’, namely North American students’, attention to medical network possitibilities during and after graduation, such as the HMAA, as well as providing them with valuable information on conducting research at the university, the USMLE examination, and more.

At the start of the information session Dr. Marcel Pop, Director of the Directorate of International Relations, welcomed the students and introduced the presenters. „This is the perfect opportunity to share some helpful insights on how to make the most out of international students’ medical school experience, inside as well as outside of the classroom” – he emphasized.

The first presentation comprised of an introduction to the HMAA. Special guest presenters were visiting doctors Dr. András Khoor, President of the HMAA, consultant and professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic, and visiting professor of Semmelweis University, as well as Dr. István G. Somkuti, Past-President of the HMAA, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Temple University. They stated their main goals of the evening were to meet the future generation of North American doctors, and talk about the activities of the HMAA such as membership, exchange programs, and opportunities to partake and present research at future HMAA conferences in both Hungary and the United States.

The second presentation was held by Faye Gillespie, International Project Coordinator from the Directorate of International Relations and Heléna Halász, who spoke about research, the USMLE, building a successful timeline for graduation, and shared helpful personal experiences with those in attendance. The presentations were followed by a gathering where the students had the opportunity to ask questions and network in an informal setting.

Faye Gillespie
Photo: Semmelweis University