“The colleagues who have just received their certificates have been through many winds and storms, and have weathered both favourable and unfavourable winds. Thanks to their wisdom, however, they have steered their ship confidently, gaining decades of experience not only in medicine and patient care, but also in many other areas of life,” Dr. Béla Merkely in his welcome speech said.
He stressed that current traditions and reputation of the university were founded by its alumni. It is largely thanks to their example that the university is ranked first in the country in terms of the number of students enrolling in medical and health sciences every year. The current training structure is based on the practice-oriented curriculum introduced on the 250th anniversary of the foundation of the Hungarian medical education:
The extremely rapid development of our discipline means that we train GPs who are capable of high levels of professional differentiation and lifelong learning and development. The university where you learned medicine decades ago is not only one of the best in Hungary today, but also the most popular among medical and health science students. For the 252nd academic year 2022/23, we have enrolled around 3,600 first-year students in our six faculties, bringing our total number of students to 14,000. One in three of our students is studying in English or German,”
– the rector stressed.
Over the years, Semmelweis University has become the best higher education institution not only in the country, but in Central and Eastern Europe, and is now ranked 236th in The Times Higher Education’s ranking of the world’s top universities. He emphasized that without the outstanding teaching, research and patient care performance of the Faculty of Medicine, such excellent results could not have been achieved.
Semmelweis University is not only the flagship of Hungarian medical education, but its role in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic was also exemplary, Dr. Miklós Kellermayer, Dean of the faculty said in his welcome speech. The institution was at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus from the very beginning of the pandemic, with the involvement of staff and students alike. In addition to their studies, our students have been working hard to tackle the Covid and have received more intensive attendance training than ever before.
“Besides of the increasingly serious and advanced technical possibilities offered by modern medicine, it is the doctor’s person who can give patients the faith and spiritual strength to heal. From you, experienced doctors, we have learnt empathy, resilience, perseverance, responsibility and care for our patients,” the dean stressed. “The medical profession is a lifelong service, a struggle to increase knowledge, to heal our fellow human beings, a service and a duty that lasts forever,” he added.
After the toasts, the rector and the dean presented the jubilee honorary diplomas, first of all to Dr. Károly Csollány, who has been a doctor for 77 years and is 103 years old. Then the doctors who graduated 70 years ago received a ruby diploma, those who were inaugurated 65 years ago received an iron diploma, those who graduated 60 years ago received a diamond diploma and those who graduated 50 years ago received a gold diploma.
On behalf of the jubilarians, Dr. Péter Gloviczki, a gold-graduate vascular surgeon and retired professor at the Mayo Clinic in the US, greeted his former fellow students and the university. The editor-in-chief of the world’s leading vascular surgery journal, the Journal of Vascular Surgery, honorary doctor of Semmelweis University and recipient of the 2020 Semmelweis Budapest Award, said that he and his fellow medical students entered the university’s building at Üllői út 26 in September 1966. They then lived the happy life of medics, touring the university institutes while learning from legendary teachers. On 13 September 1972, they received their diplomas at the Erkel Theatre and set to work with enthusiasm. In the last 50 years, he said, the world has changed, humanity has doubled, the Berlin Wall has fallen, political regimes have come and gone – but they have left with a sense of vocation, humanity, compassion and love for the sick, which Semmelweis has inspired them to continue to this day:
The name of our namesake, Ignác Semmelweis, is known throughout the world. The greats of our university have brought Nobel Prizes and world fame to our alma mater. Cultivating our traditions, bringing together students, doctors, researchers and teachers who have ties to the university, will continue to perpetuate the Semmelweis name at home and abroad, and contribute to the great success our university has achieved in the world,”
he emphasized. At the end of his speech, Dr. Péter Gloviczki thanked the university for recognizing and honoring their decades of work as physicians, teachers and researchers.
Róbert Tasnádi, translated by Rita Kónya
Photo by Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University