The voluntary sacrifice of more than 120 graduating students during the COVID-19 epidemic was recognized with the „Semmelweis Hero” commemorative medal and certificate at a ceremony held in the Assembly Hall of the Theoretical Block in Nagyvárad Square, established by the Rector of Semmelweis University, Dr. Béla Merkely, the Chancellor, Dr. Lívia Pavlik and Dr. Attila Szabó, Vice-Rector for Clinical Affairs and President of the Clinical Center.
Heroes are born not only in extraordinary times, but also in everyday life. I look at you now and I see heroes”
– Dr. Béla Merkely said in his welcome speech, adding that similarly to the previous academic year, this has been an extraordinary one – since the times we live in are extraordinary as well.
Speaking about the coronavirus epidemic, he reminded that during one of the most extensive and rapidly spreading pandemics in modern history, students found themselves in the middle of a historical situation overnight.
They applied to medical school on the brink of adulthood and now, as mature adults and most importantly, with significant practical knowledge, they are about to graduate”
– said Dr. Béla Merkely in his speech, stressing that there is no better teacher than practice and experience.
The rector emphasized that Semmelweis University has been at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus from the very first moment. He pointed out that thousands of students were involved in the struggle with the epidemic, in addition to their studies.
You’ve been at the screenings, at the vaccination points, at the bedside – wherever help was needed. It is exemplary how effectively doctors, nurses, teachers, students, citizens of our university were able to join forces and work together for a common goal”
– he stressed.
As he pointed out, this skill will be very much needed in practice of the profession, because the essence of medicine and patient care is teamwork. Students who participated in the crisis management team acted according to their vocation even in times of emergency, representing their university. They stood up for their fellow human beings, protected life and served their country,” said Dr. Béla Merkely.
As the rector put it, there is no greater challenge for a person, for a doctor. That is what makes one a hero.
“This is what makes you a hero,” he said, stressing that the award is recognition of having passed the test of valour, sacrifice and having stood the test of heroism.
After his speech, along with Dr. Lívia Pavlik, Chancellor of Semmelweis University and Bálint Tripolszky, President of the Students’ Union, the rector presented the commemorative medals and certificates to the students.
The full list of recipients can be found here in Hungarian.
Translation: Viktória Kiss
Photo: Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University