The 15th July, 54 graduates of the German-language programme of Semmelweis University in Germany received their diplomas at the Embassy of Hungary in Berlin. Together with the graduates in Hungary, a total of 187 medical and dental students were awarded doctorates in the German-language program of the university. This was the eleventh time that graduates of the German-language training received their degrees.

The university’s off-campus program Asklepios Campus Hamburg (ACH), was founded in 2008. After the first two years of theoretical training, the students of the German-language program at Semmelweis can continue their studies at the ACH in Hamburg from the third year onwards. The 300 guests from Hamburg and all over Germany were welcomed by Ambassador Dr. Péter Györkös. He said that for several years now the Hungarian Embassy in Berlin has hosted the inauguration ceremony. He congratulated the graduates and emphasized that the young Germans who spend part of their student years in Hungary, including the German medical students of ACH program, are those who will get to know the true face of Hungary, its history and traditions. “And as a result of this, they will become ambassadors of Hungary,” he added.

The title of Doctor of Medicine was conferred on the graduates by Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector of Semmelweis University, Dr. Miklós Kellermayer, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Alán Alpár, Vice Rector for International Studies, and Dr. Nele Geßler, Associate Dean for Research Affairs at ACH, on behalf of the Hamburg campus.

“Thanks to the extensive knowledge and excellent education you have gained at Semmelweis University and ACH, you have no need to worry about your future at all,” Dr. Nele Geßler said. “You have every chance for a successful start and a great career ahead of you. Just stay calm and keep the joy of learning and working,” she added.        

The future doctor candidates took the medical oath together. On behalf of the newly graduated students, Dr. Niklas Ekler, Dr. Lisa Ernst and Dr. Michèle Lembens thanked all those who made their dream of becoming a doctor come true and who supported them along the way. In particular, they highlighted the support of Semmelweis University, the staff of ACH and their family and friends.

In his speech at the graduation ceremony, Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector of Semmelweis University, reminded the students that when they applied to Semmelweis University, they had to prove their aptitude and outstanding performance to be admitted to the institution, which only accepts the best students, which is a guarantee of quality education.

“Four years ago, Semmelweis University set itself the goal of becoming one of the top 100 higher education institutions in the world and one of the top five medical and health science universities in Europe by the end of the decade. It is an ambitious plan, but we believe we are on the right track. The successful 13-year partnership between Asklepios Campus Hamburg and Semmelweis University will also contribute to its realization. The successful cooperation is marked by the fact that the management of Semmelweis University and Asklepios Campus Hamburg decided last year to continue the cooperation agreement signed in 2008, and the new agreement was signed at the opening ceremony of the academic year in Budapest in September 2021,” the rector emphasized.

He encouraged the newly graduated doctors to always be open-minded, never lose their curiosity, and always keep in mind that they are dedicated to serving the healing of people in a way worthy of their oath.

The ceremony also included the presentation of awards and appointments. Dr. Sebastian Wirtz, Senior Consultant in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care at AK Barmbek (Asklepios Klinik), was appointed as a subject leader, and Dr. Marc Axel Wollmer, Senior Consultant in the Department of Geriatric Psychiatry at AK Nord, was elected as a department team leader.  The Pro Universitate Silver Degree was awarded to the now retiring Dr. Christoph Jermann, who has led the Hamburg Campus since 2013 – the baton was passed to Dr. Thorsten Thiel.

Dr. Thorsten Thiel, Managing Director of Asklepios Medical School GmbH, took the podium at the ACH graduation ceremony for the first time since his appointment. In his speech, he quoted the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, who said that life can only be understood by looking back, but that life must be lived by looking forward. “You have all achieved a lot, experienced a lot and understood a lot. The important thing now is to look forward, to give, preserve and save life. Let your work be your life’s work,” he added. As he said, this day is both a turning point and a new beginning for the graduates. “Stay a part of the ACH community through Alumni and let us get a glimpse into your professional development,” the new Executive Director emphasized.

As a traditional closing part of the event, the newly graduated Doctors of Medicine threw their hats in the air in front of the Brandenburg Gate.



This year, Semmelweis University has admitted a total of 509 medical and dental students to its German-language courses.

Judit Szlovák, Eszter Kovács, Orsolya Dávid

Photo: Hauke Gilbert

Translation: Rita Kónya