Many exchange students visit the Second Faculty and Motol University Hospital every year under the IFMSA, Erasmus and other schemes. We appreciate they chose just this faculty and asked some of them what brought them to Motol, what they like about the place and Prague and what they would recommend to other incoming students.
Recalling my month in Prague, a smile spontaneously draws on my face. It was a month full of fun, exploration, knowledge, and new skills!
I participated in a professional exchange within the Department of General Surgery. The doctors were so kind and always there to teach us theoretical and practical information; mentioning that I got the chance to assist in many major surgeries, be able to see those from a very close point even got an experience with hands-on training!
About the city of Prague, it is magnificent; I could not stop looking around. There is a magic in its buildings, its beauty differs between day and night, you feel like it is a new city each time you walk in its streets. Every tiny detail was breath taking!
Beyond that, its location in the middle of Europe made it easy for me to travel and discover the nearby countries.
The IFMSA-CZ representatives made a great effort to ensure that we had a comfortable and successful exchange program, and my contact person was so cooperative and was always there to answer my questions and concerns. Ending with the most important thing, the national food and drink party, gathered everybody, all willing to share their culture and cuisine.
Sharifeh Almasaid, University of Jordan, Jordan
My clerkship in Motol University Hospital is an unforgettable experience packed fully with surprises and unexpected gains.
The experience has truly broadened by medical knowledge and motivated me to learn. I came across a spectrum of congenital heart diseases, understand their presentations, pathophysiology, investigations, managements and follow ups.
During my attachment in the wards, I have made friends with medical students from different continents and countries around the globe, from Asia to Americas, from Thailand to Mexico. We exchanged and shared ideas on our medical system and education. And we enjoyed a lot of precious but fulfilling moments together.
Shek Long Tsang,
The University of Hong Kong
I’ve come to Motol’s Department of Neurosurgery because I’m fascinated by neurosurgical procedures that can help individuals. The staff are very professional, they explain me everything about the cases and I learn the protocols that are different at every hospital. After I come back I’ll have a different perspective on things and be able to contribute to our department in Lebanon.
Students should come here prepared to benefit the most. I also recommend to search for the hidden places of Prague, not the crowded ones. Except for the architecture I like the many parks with their beautiful views. And definitely go hiking to the countryside – we actually don’t have such greenery and hiking areas where I live.
Carla Chikhani, University of Balamand,
I chose Prague as I know a bit of the county’s development and I love to see how a place small like this has become something as great as the Czech Republic.
I do neurology because as young I suffered from migraine, somehow I fell in love with my sickness and that’s why I fell in love with the science. I also wanted to know how medicine works in a first world country – and yes, everything seems to be so perfect, pre-thought and organised, like a dream for me.
The Prague public transport is perfect, the safety is perfect. The medical care is perfect even when, of course, the doctors I’ve talked to have some problems. My recommendation is: take your internship seriously, not just as travelling and learning a different culture.
Juan Emilio Latournerie Solis, Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas, Mexico
I've been here before, but only as a tourist. Living here is amazing, you can walk around in the beautiful centre or travel further because public transport is awesome.
Motol University Hospital is the best option for learning Paediatrics in the Czech Republic and maybe in Central Europe. As we don't have the opportunity to see Paediatric Surgery at our university, for me everything is new. The doctors let me help in surgeries, I'm learning how to treat children, techniques and staff – it's very good and useful experience.
Many people here speak good English and it's a great option to learn. And if you like beer, you can taste some of many kinds of beer Prague bars offer! (laughs)
Paula Vela Martin, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Faculty of Medicine, Spain
I do Anaesthesia, but I followed to Motol my friend Paula, who does Paediatric Surgery. I'm enjoying the hospital, the doctors are treating me very well and let me intervade. If they see you're willing or if you ask them they let you do almost everything, they teach and explain. I gained a new point of view on how medicine and hospitals works, different from Spain.
But Prague is definitely a city to visit, not just because of the hospital. As we're living close to the centre, we can enjoy it every day.
I'd recommend everybody to do an internship here.
Angela Rodrigo Martinez, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Faculty of Medicine, Spain
I was always curious about Prague and it was close to my country. A friend of mine told me about the beautiful architecture and people, and he was right.
But among other things I like here I put the hospital on the first place. I'm improving my practical skills very much. As I’m interested in Anaesthesia, I'm doing my internship at the Department of Anaesthesiology. The doctors are very kind, open-minded and answer all my questions. When I return home, I'll be more confident in asking questions – nothing has been as difficult as I thought.
I'd recommend other students to visit this amazing city and not to be shy and ask as many questions as they want. Don't lose this chance!
Cristina Ionescu, a fourth-year student at Universitatea Lucian Blaga din Sibiu, Faculty of Medicine, Romania
I learnt about the Second Faculty and luckily I got the invitation from Professor Jan Trka. I met him last year in Kyoto, where he attended a conference at our medical faculty, and he agreed I would arrive the next summer.
I have learnt much observing what he does and how the clinic works. I like seeing the hospital from inside, as I haven't seen much of it so far in Japan. Most importantly I have seen paediatric patients, which we do from the fifth year.
I noticed there are more female than male doctors in Motol; is it because Japanese doctors are very busy, so women choose this job less frequently?
I also travelled, I visited Český Krumlov, a beautiful historic site with the theatre in gardens and I'm planning other trips, but the Czech Republic offers much more than one can make within one month.
Sure I recommend other students to spend an internship here.
(Kyoto University, Medical Faculty, fourth year)
I chose the Second Faculty of Medicine because the contact person at my faculty suggested it was a good option. What I liked most about my internship was definitely Motol Hospital. The doctors were very hardworking and sociable. Doctor Miroslav Durila told us a lot about Anaesthesiology. I like him very much. But I really don't know what specific to recommend to other exchange students – everything was great!
Krasnodar State Medical University,
When I chose Prague for my exchange in July, some people told me that there is one of the best paediatric centres in Europe. I was so excited to have a month to study there. And my expectations were met. I had learnt a lot of new about many diseases, acquired new skills and knew different ways of diagnosis and treatment.
There were also hours outside of the hospital and we had really great time with my international friends. We explored old city centre by foots, ate trdelnik, were chilling in Stalin, met sunrise on the Charles Bridge. Hope that we will keep in touch with those beautiful people who made my month unforgettable. Now I’m really grateful for that month and hope to come to Prague some day and city will meet me like an old friend.
Samara State Medical University, Russian Federation