2018 Selective Review:
It is again my pleasure to submit this annual report concerning the annual St. George’s University School of Medicine (SGUSOM) Prague Selective, held during the three weeks of July 8 – July 27, 2018. This was the twentieth year of the Selective!
This year, 36 students from SGUSOM as well as students from China and South Carolina attended the Selective. To-date, 1,828 US and international medical students from a total of 57 medical schools have participated in the program, making it the largest and most successful program of its type in the world!
Upon successful completion of the Selective, students are eligible to receive two credit points on their medical transcripts for taking the course.
As in previous years, the Selective consisted of a fully structured three week program of morning hospital rotations and afternoon discussion sessions. The morning program featured 4 teaching hospitals, each with its own clinical coordinator. A combined faculty of approximately 25 senior attending physicians exposed the students to a wide variety of settings (in and out -patient care, surgeries, diagnostics and imaging) during the morning sessions. Group size was kept at a max. 8 students/group.
Afternoon sessions featured group discussions on history and physical diagnosis (live patients), exploration and comparison of different health-care systems, and global trends in infectious diseases. A new topic that the students rated in hugely positive terms was a seminar on how to deliver bad news to patients and families. The students again personally met with the Chargé of the US Embassy to the Czech Republic Kelly Adams-Smith and separately for two hours with the Czech Minister of Health Adam Vojtech. Both provided invaluable and unique insights and experiences. Additionally, all students participated in a comprehensive review comparing US and OECD medical systems and also received a presentation on the impact and global trends of infectious diseases from Petr Smejkal MD, a US-based physician and Senior Attending at Prague’s Military Hospital ID ward.
Students also had a chance to separately meet with Czech medical students and Czech physicians who now practice in the US, so as to compare experiences and outlooks and exchange contacts. Each Wednesday of the Selective featured a Happy Hour, where students and faculty had a further chance to get acquainted. Many bonds were formed. Finally, we re-launched our Prague Selective Facebook page with two student coordinators (one US and one SGU) to run the show. Take a look at us on FB and then go to www.pragueselective.comfor full information on the program.
As part of the Selective, all students were again asked to fill out and submit a questionnaire. The questionnaire continues to guide us in making the Selective better each year. This year, the responses were again hugely positive, with the overwhelming majority of students rating the Selective in positive terms and virtually all of them recommending it to others as a valuable experience.
This year, I can again confidently state that all of the aims of the course were met. Specifically, students were exposed to a wide variety of healthcare settings and issues, exploring both the thinking process of clinical medicine, as well as various medical systems. Virtually all students felt the experience was extremely valuable, both in terms of getting a “jump start” on certain aspects of patient care, as well as serving as an invaluable comparative experience.
The Selective also continues to be extremely cost-effective and affordable. For the full three weeks for 2019, the cost will remain at 485 USD. Our Prague offices and experienced staff shall again be on hand to serve and assist the students.
For 2019, the Selective shall run from Sunday July 7th through Friday July 26th. Complete details on the program and registration information can be found on our website at www.pragueselective.com
MUDr. Martin Jan Stránský, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Director, Prague Selective.
Assistant Clinical Professor in Neurology, Yale School of Medicine
Ombudsman for Healthcare, Czech Republic
Visiting Professor in Neurology, SGUSOM
Lecturer, Charles University School of Medicine, Prague
Panel Physician to the Embassies of the United States and Great Britain, Prague
Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board, International Clinical Research Center, Brno