Fotografie: Matouš Vokatý (2. LF)

Teaching Stars of the Second Faculty of Medicine 2023 at a Short Confession

Teaching Stars of the Second Faculty of Medicine 2023 at a Short Confession


The glitter and glory of the Faculty Ball traditionally provided the right backdrop for the awarding of the best teachers of the Second Faculty of Medicine, who are selected by the students themselves in a poll. They received their prizes, sashes and flowers from the hands of the Dean Prof. Marek Babjuk on 2 March. And they revealed to us a little of their teaching skills.

Dr. Petra Dytrych, Department of ENT

The Teacher of the Year award is a great honour for me, I am very happy about it. At the same time, it is a commitment to continue to make teaching fun, interesting and inspiring for our students.

What is my favourite teaching approach? I strive for student interaction and engagement, to not only impart knowledge and experience but to show them why it is important to learn and what it will bring them for the future. Feedback is also important to me; I ask students what we could improve in our teaching and what needs to be worked on. They are future colleagues and should be treated with respect.

Dr. Jakub Hurych, Department of Medical Microbiology

The Teacher of the Year award means positive feedback on my approach to teaching. It also proves that the students are happy to work hard during the practical seminars, because it is not easy with me – I "force" them to continuously prepare, to think a little further than their existing knowledge can go, and to interact with me a lot. But they seem to enjoy it, and I'm very glad for that. I must add that I see this not only in my own students but also in my colleagues, which makes me happy double.

What is my favourite teaching approach? I've already outlined it a bit in my previous answer, but I try to be very proactive and make the most of our time together when teaching. I'm often compared to being their coach and preparing them for one big race. It may be far away and seem unmanageable at first, but with consistent ongoing training it can be done. Also, you don't prepare for a marathon in two weeks (during the exam period), but you do in less than a year. Well, it's the same with microbiology.

Doc. Pavla Brennan Kearns, Department of Epidemiology

For me, the Teacher of the Year award is a confirmation that it is possible to teach even a challenging and seemingly hard-to-digest subject like epidemiology in an interesting way. It is also a great honour for me to receive it for the second year in a row, which shows me that my teaching methods work, and that last year's award was no accident. It is also a great motivation for me because this year we are starting a new subject in a new curriculum called Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Medicine, the concept and methodology of which I have prepared. I am optimistic that the teaching in this new subject will work and fulfil its purpose.

I can't pick a specific favourite approach, but in general I am in favour of “flipped classroom” methods that stimulate integrated deep learning, where I am not the main source of information but a guide through the learning process. I prefer hands-on exercises with clearly stated learning objectives in advance, where I spend a relatively short time explaining new material. Considerable time is devoted to having students apply new knowledge during the lesson.

Dr. Eduard Kočárek Department of Biology and Medical Genetics

What does the Teacher of the Year award mean to me? First, a very nice balm to the soul... This year marks 30 years since I've been working at the Second Faculty of Medicine and the award is such a beautiful gift. I couldn't have asked for a better surprise. It encourages me to look back at the past more than a quarter of a century and to remember those whom I met not only in the corridors of Motol University Hospital and to whom I am grateful for many things. And when I speak of gratitude, I also mean thanking all the existing human beings who are an integral part of my world and without whom I simply could not do it. I'm thinking of my colleagues, my wonderful students, and of course my immediate family - my wife and my mom.

What is my favourite teaching approach? I probably won't say anything revelatory if I say that I prefer frontal teaching with interactive elements. Of course, the proportion of interactive elements depends not only on the type and extent of the teaching, but also on the interest and readiness of the "audience". So, for example, interactive teaching can usually be successfully implemented in practical seminars with our medical students. One is really looking forward to talking to the students. During Covid, I also discovered the unmissable "charm" of online distance learning. Yes, this form has its drawbacks, e.g. some limitations in interactivity, problems in checking students' attendance or knowledge, and the possibility of technical complications (internet outages, etc.). Face-to-face teaching is irreplaceable in many cases. Nevertheless, I think that distance learning has its merits (e.g. for some elective courses) and should not be drastically reduced.

Dr. Matěj Kučera, Department of Epidemiology

On a personal level, the Teacher of the Year award means a great happiness to me in terms of appreciation for my work with students. On an academic level, it is a signal that the way of teaching that my colleagues and I use is functional and, above all, useful for students.

What is my favourite teaching approach? In my teaching, I pride myself on delivering information in a clear, structured and, where possible, interactive way. Introducing certain topics in epidemiology can be quite a challenge, but if we take it in the right direction and approach the students, e.g. by using modern learning techniques, even these topics can be well "absorbed", interesting and, most importantly, beneficial for future doctors in practice.

Dr. Radka Kremlíková Pourová, Department of Biology and Medical Genetics

The 2023 Teacher of the Year award means a lot to me, in so many ways.

I consider it a real honour to be able to stand, at least imaginatively, alongside my role models from my student years, teaching legends, some of whom are sadly no longer with us and many of whom are still regular recipients of this award today. It is a welcome and much needed feedback to me that my efforts and energy are being perceived positively by the students and therefore obviously being guided in the right direction. At the same time, it also means great gratitude to me. First and foremost to all my colleagues who make up the Clinical Genetics teaching team, who have bounced it from the bottom of the student poll to the top ranks in just a few years. I really thank you all! And also to the students themselves, whose enthusiasm and drive to understand the difficult issues of rare diseases give us the energy to persist in our efforts and strive to improve.

My favourite part of teaching is the contact with students. That moment when you manage to connect with the audience, and sparks of interest start to appear among the sleepy students who haven't had their morning coffee yet. And the fire spreads. And then suddenly a larger proportion of the students are listening and taking in what you're saying. Sometimes it's a matter of a moment, sometimes it takes longer, but whenever that moment comes, there's a sense of "I'm not here today for nothing." And that's the moment that makes this work worth doing. I try to achieve this by using humour, linking it to knowledge from other subjects or 'control questions'. But sometimes there's nothing to do but take a break and send the students off for that coffee.

Doc. Zuzana Ozaniak Střížová, Department of Immunology

The award of Teacher of the Year made me extremely happy, and I appreciate it very much. Now I feel even more committed to teaching to the best of my ability and to finding new approaches to improve the quality of teaching. Feedback from students helps me to further develop the possibilities of interactive teaching. I see the education of our students as one of the most important missions and I am very happy that I can spark students´ curiosity in such an interesting but often overlooked field as immunology.  

What is my favourite teaching approach? I strive for interactive teaching, where students must actively engage with real clinical cases, asking questions and seeking answers. Although I give real-life examples, the teaching is not pre-structured and therefore often a discussion develops where we don't know where it will go. I don't want students to be mere recipients of information, but to figure things out for themselves so they feel good about themselves. Today's era brings a very specific spectrum of patients, and I think it is important for students to learn that their patients will be educated about their disease, will ask difficult questions, and will often reject proposed treatments and request alternative ways. Through this teaching, I aim to develop critical thinking and the application of practical knowledge.

Dr. Šárka Tomová, Department of Nursing

For me, the Teacher of the Year award means joy, purpose, energy, the desire to go further, a smile, a feeling of happiness and the power to pass on the experience again and again.

What is my favourite teaching approach? Repetition at the beginning of the class as a warm-up, lectures that I try to spice up with real-life and practical examples, questions, discussions, but lately I enjoy most the practice of mentally connecting the acquired knowledge from other subjects in the context of team-based case studies. It is encouraging to show the students how everything is connected and how even in the subject of nursing you can use knowledge from biophysics, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, and others and see their wonder that everything is connected.

By Dr. Petr Andreas and Dr. Kateřina Křenová

Created: 4. 3. 2024 / Modified: 4. 3. 2024 / Mgr. Petr Andreas, Ph.D.