Professor Pavel Dungl, head emeritus of the Orthopaedic Department of Na Bulovce Hospital
In contrast to clinical departments established right from the outset as part of the First Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University, I experienced a rather bitter period when our, at its time most advanced orthopaedic institute, merely aspired to the status given by university affiliation. When it came to even the lowest of academic degrees, we had to beg one of the Prague orthopaedic university clinics. We were also a clinic, but only of the institute for further medical education. We were over the moon when we were in 1999 subsumed under the First Faculty of Medicine. The fact that both the first and the second department of orthopaedic medicine were at that time moving into new, rather small facilities in Motol, probably played a role in this development. From the very beginning, we started to train medics of both the Czech and the English programme. This teaching felt quite simple and straightforward, perhaps even primitive, in comparison to preparation for first and second postgraduate certification. At once, we became the only department that offered the full range of orthopaedic subspecialisations, from paediatric orthopaedic surgery and spondylosurgery, all the way to traumatology, sport orthopaedics, and a department of alloplastic surgery and oncology. We still offer parallel undergraduate and postgraduate education in the full range of orthopaedic specialisations, and in alloplastic surgery, we collaborate with the orthopaedic department in Motol.
The First Faculty gives me a sense of belonging, of being part of the university, and the number of domestic and international doctoral students importantly adds to the prestige of our department. Research is seen as a natural part of our work. We organise national and international congresses and our physicians are active members of important European and overseas orthopaedic societies.
For over a decade, I worked at prestigious orthopaedic departments in the United States, Germany, and Switzerland, but also in Yemen, and thirteen times I went for two to four weeks a year to perform orthopaedic surgeries in Kuwait. And in all these places, I was able to present the high quality of Czech orthopaedic surgery and university education.
Photo: Markéta Sýkorová