Professor Karel Pavelka, Head of the Rheumatology Department
I am a graduate of the 1st Faculty of Medicine, including its preparatory year. I have always been aware of the genius loci of my alma mater but as I age, I seem to be aware of it ever more keenly. Recollections of my studies, teachers, fellow students, but also the sports grounds at Karlov, nearby pubs where medics celebrate after passing their exams, places where we met our love interests, all that belongs to the most beautiful things I had the luck to experience in my life. In the grounds of the General University Hospital I also started my medical career and I was fortunate in having as teachers excellent and kind doctors such as Professors Marek and Broulík.
After passing my first attestation in internal medicine and after completing my CSc. (Candidate of Sciences) degree, I formally left the 1st Faculty of Medicine to work in an institute and to supervise my faculty. I worked sometimes close, sometimes further away. Nevertheless, I maintained many contacts, both on the level of academic collaboration and personal friendships. Still, I wanted to make the relation between the Institute of Rheumatology and the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University closer and to put it on a firm institutional basis. This led to the idea of establishing a Department of Rheumatology as a joint institute. We managed to do that in 2000. Over the next almost two decades, we saw that this was a fortunate decision. It benefits not only the under- and postgraduate students but also the scientists who can work at both institutions simultaneously. This arrangement helped optimise the work distribution of physicians who can engage both in clinical practice and in research and teaching.
Rheumatology is an area which develops very dynamically, and we wanted to achieve and maintain a quality of care that would correspond to European standards and do justice to the excellent reputation of the Charles University. It had a positive impact on my life as well: I became member of the Science Board of the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University and became more frequently involved in other academic activities and grant projects. I managed to formally return to the faculty. It makes me happy and I hope I will belong there for some time yet.