Twelve OMI fellows completed their observerships in Austria in September 2023. The doctors came from a variety of different countries, including Armenia, Mongolia, Croatia, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Ethiopia, Serbia, Romania, and North Macedonia. The program took place in Salzburg, Graz, and Vienna, spanning various fields of interest such as orthopedics and traumatology, cardiac surgery, radiooncology, dermatology, transplantation, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, otolaryngology, general pediatrics, pediatric pulmonology, as well as pediatric radiology.
Dr. Vangjel Zdraveski, a cardiac surgeon from North Macedonia, summarized the experience from his one-month observership at the General Hospital of Vienna, emphasizing the benefits of interdisciplinary exchange:
“This observership broadened my knowledge of Austrian medicine and Austrian culture in many ways. I really liked the interdisciplinary approach and organization of the Medical University of Vienna. I learned about interpersonal relations with patients, high quality clinical research, and new surgical procedures. I plan to discuss with my superiors and colleagues on how to implement these in the future.”
Likewise, Dr. Munguntsetseg Khuyag-Ochir from Mongolia acknowledged the importance of discussion and shared decision-making she saw at the various department meetings during her pediatric pulmonology observership at the Medical University of Graz. In addition to the clinical discussions with her Austrian colleagues, she appreciated the input from other observers and underlined the impact of ongoing communication for a continued learning process.
Dr. Dean Markić from Croatia completed his observership at the division of transplantation in the general surgery department of the General Hospital of Vienna. He is especially looking forward to future collaboration with the Austrian faculty.
“During my stay in the department, I spoke to experienced doctors who gave me valuable advice. We are planning to write an article about robotic-assisted living donor nephrectomy which was conducted during my stay in the department. The observership broadened my knowledge of Austrian medicine because I saw new techniques (for example the Da Vinci robot) and many surgical procedures that will help me to improve my surgical practice.”
Otolaryngologist Dr. Andro Košec from Croatia, who observed at the General Hospital of Vienna, was delighted by the different learning opportunities and the benefits which the OMI programs have brought to his career:
“I joined the team for the day clinic, the morning rounds, and multidisciplinary tumor meetings, but I spent most of the time in the OR. The experience was great, and I had the opportunity to join the Austrian national HNO congress as well as another workshop about hearing implants. All of the OMI seminars and this observership have opened the door to international medical communication and have been instrumental in my career advancement.”