Three of the Military General Medicine students from the Faculty of Military Health Sciences of the University of Defence set out a two-week journey to Belgrade for a cooperation visit with the Military Medical Academy. Thus, sergeants Jan Brixi (5th year), Sabina Hovancová (4th year) and David Altrichter (4th year) resumed the activities started last year with the premier successful students exchange with the Serbian partner institution.
“We were welcomed to the Academy by subdean for scientific-research and cooperation Lieutenant Colonel Prof. Dr. Tihomir Ilić. The Serbian side had prepared the entire schedule of the visit with two willing guides Nataša Janjušević MD and Bojana Maličević MD. We paid visits to MMA’s Medical Research Institute, National Poison Control Centre, Institute of Hygiene, Institute of Epidemiology and special elements, such as Nuclear Medicine Institute or the Institute of Blood Transfusion and Hemobiology. Our partners presented us their research projects on some of which they work together with Czech mates. The Scientific Information Institute, consisting of the central library and several specialised libraries and archives showed us MMA’s publication centre operation where Military Medical Review („Vojnosanitetski pregled„) has been published since 2008. The journal ranks among the 155 most influential periodicals in general and internal medicine thanks to its value of impact factor.
We spent a very interesting afternoon at the Clinic for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation being involved in direct monitoring of therapy and discussions over patient case history. Our attention was drawn to the usage of acupuncture and other Chinese medicine techniques implemented there in patient care quite often with excellent effects. The last day of the first week was time for us to be present at the operation theatres to get acquainted with the routines of anaesthesiology and surgery and the difference in material and procedures. The places we visited in the second week of our trip included the Clinic for Emergency Internal Medicine and Solid Organ Transplantation Centre offering the opportunity to see the invasive cardiology unit and interesting case histories of emergency cardiologic patients, Aviation Medicine Institute from the point of view of its significant historical role in aviation medicine development and today for the stress tests performed during pilot and air personnel, both military and civilian, selection and the Centre for Hyperbaric Medicine where we got the indication/contraindication overview of this type of treatment and observed the very hyperbaric chamber and the control panel getting a lecture of the necessary safety operation precautions of this equipment.
Leisure time in Belgrade was an opportunity for us to play typical tourists on sightseeing tours but also a chance to feel the city spirit, experience the atmosphere, night life, sport and/or cultural events. In this respect, we are highly grateful to our guides thanks to whom we learned, for example, of the Beer Fest taking place for our delight right during the time of our visit offering us the best selection of Balkan beer special products and original local music bands. We also accepted the invitation to the traditional graduation celebration and to witness as members of the community for a moment the superb Serbian way of group celebrations. You may find Belgrade way of life tumultuous but it is a city of strong emotions and experiences. All the time we met amiability, hospitality and openness as well as typical local sense of humour.
Our visit concluded on the grounds of the Serbian University of Defence headquarters at the appointment with its Vice Dean for Interuniversity and International Cooperation COL Prof. Dr. Goran Dikić. We watched the presentation of University’s history and presence, study programmes, involvement in international research projects (Tempus) and of the current forms of international cooperation and the follow-on education for Serbian military officers. The appointment was held in a very friendly atmosphere as well as was the social dinner with our guides and cadet unit commander MAJ Kiproski topping the excellent time spent at MMA Belgrade. We only regret we cannot return the hospitality as the planned reciprocal visit of Serbian students was cancelled.“
Author: Sabina Hovancová, Photo: Sabina Hovancová, VMA Bělehrad