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Czech doctors in great demand

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Several weeks ago, Czech plastic surgeon Bohdan Pomahač entered made medical history when he lead a team of 30 doctors at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital to successfully complete a face transplant. This was only the second time that doctors in the United States succeeded in accomplishing such an operation. Only seven face transplants were done in the world so far.

“I treated the patient after his injury four years ago. A year later, I began thinking about a face transplant. The patient was willing to accept anything. For him any face was better than nothing,” the 38-year-old surgeon told HN. He has been working in Boston for 13 years. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he has his own plastic surgery unit for reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. He is also the head of the burns clinic.

Bohdan Pomahač is not the only Czech doctor who has been able to make a name for himself abroad. Czech cardiologists and heart surgeons have a very good reputation around the world. “They have been successful in the UK, the US, Canada and Germany. Czech cardiology and heart surgery has excellent reputation abroad. We belong among countries that are able to treat accute heart attacks most effectively,” said Václav Chaloupka, head of the Czech Society of Cardiology.

Czech cardiologists
In London at one of the best children’s hospitals in the world, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), Czech heart surgeons play an important role. Czech doctors work here at the biggest heart transplant unit for children in the world. Jan Marek, the top Czech pediatrician-cardiologist, has worked here for several years. It’s thanks to Prague’s Motol hospital that many Czech cardiologists come to work at this London hospital to gain experience. Czech heart surgeon Jaroslav Stark, who wrote an English texbook for heart surgeons, helped pave the way for them after immigrating to England from Czechoslovakia after the 1968 invasion.

“We have been working with British doctors for a number of years. Some of our colleagues end up staying there to work. In the last few years, it has become a little bit of a problem because our top doctors are leaving the country,” said Václav Chaloupecký, head doctor at the cardiology unit at the children’s centre at Motol hospital.

Prestigious work
Cardiologists from Motol are also helping define cardiology treatments in Leipzig. For instance, the children’s cardiologist Jan Janoušek succeeded in a challenging competition and now works as head of the children’s cardiology clinic in Herzzenter in Leipzig in Germany.

Cardiologists from Brno have been very successful in the United States. A number of them work in Rochester in Minnesota at the Mayo Clinic, the best hospital in the world, where American presidents and Arabic sheiks come for treatment.

Czech doctors here mainly work on research in heart diseases. For instance 29-year-old doctor Tomáš Konečný is finishing his residency here in internal medicine. “There is a combination here of top research and innovative treatment methods. Here you help set new trends for how patients are to be treated,” says Konečný. “Every year, we get 50,000 applications. It is not easy to get in, but Czech doctors belong among top experts,” says Professor Virend Somers from the Mayo Clinic.

Every year dozens of Czech doctors leave the country, mainly to work in Germany and Great Britain. They go for the higher salaries and better conditions.

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