EUSP Report: Unique opportunities in Budapest

08 March 2011

As part of the European Urological Scholarship Programme (EUSP), I spent a fruitful ten weeks doing a fellowship at the Urology department of Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary. This experience greatly affected my knowledge of specialised urology, and also my career.

Budapest must rank highly among the most attractive cities of the world. It successfully combines a centuries-old architectural and cultural heritage with the latest features of modern life. The whole city is packed with fortifications and buildings from Roman times, Turkish baths still in use today, the heritage of the Gothic and Baroque eras, and the incredibly rich architecture of the Art Nouveau.

As part of the European Urological Scholarship Programme (EUSP), I spent a fruitful ten weeks doing a fellowship at the Urology department of Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary. This experience greatly affected my knowledge of specialised urology, and also my career.

The Department of Urology at Semmelweis University was established in 1920 as one of the first independent urological clinics in Europe. It is a big building with four floors. There are five operating theatres and about 50 beds. The department deals with unusual and complicated urological cases, and the beds are always occupied because of the high rate of admissions and operations. The department’s library was wonderful; its collection included a wide variety of urological magazines, and many books in several languages that reflect all historical periods of modern urology. The Department of Urology has a guestbook that starts in 1922 with a contribution by the founder of the department, Professor Illyés. It is a real mirror of international contacts and represents the last few decades of a country’s history.

The staff of the department was friendly, cooperative, and supportive of my ambitions. Success is not an individual effort; it requires teamwork. I learned from the whole team at Budapest, especially from their work ethic, which was geared toward hard work, success, and prosperity. Every day, I attended urological surgeries as an assistant or observer, especially in uro-oncology and reconstructive surgery under the supervision of Professor I. Romics. I regularly attended meetings and discussions of controversial issues, trying to broaden my mind. On Tuesdays and Fridays, there was a major round with the professor, which included thorough reviews and discussions of each patient’s clinical history, physical examination, preoperative investigations, and planned operations and further management.

I was fortunate enough to have my fellowship during the summer, as residents and half of the staff were on vacation and I had a real chance to attend almost all of the operations that had my interest. In addition to this good fortune, my fellowship also coincided with the 90th Anniversary of the Urology Department, with a great number of guests from around the world.

Training in urology in Budapest was a memorable experience. The Urology Department of Semmelweis University is a good place for further training and the exchanging of experiences, as a significant number of uro-oncologic, reconstructive and endourologic surgeries are performed there daily.

Read this and other articles in the March 2010 issue of EUT.

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