- 8 Oct 2013 12:00 PM
Even though my teachers were convinced of my future as a mathematician, there was no stopping me. At the age of 18, I moved to Budapest from Székesfehérvár to begin my studies at Semmelweis Medical University.
Around the third year of medical school, I decided to become an anesthesiologist and intensive therapist, and after finishing the university, worked 15 years in this field.
Practicing alongside famous professors in a variety of situations, I learned a lot from their examples of what it means to be a doctor, not only in a medical sense. Having gained working experience in several different fields of my profession, including general surgery, open heart surgery and the trauma department, I consider myself very fortunate.
My career at FirstMed began in 1999 when a handful of us — Dennis Diokno, general manager, an American family physician, two nurses, a lab technician and myself — opened the doors of the clinic to patients on February 15, 1999, in Hattyúház.
We have since expanded our clinic to include the entire fifth floor of the building, and take pride in our 60 or so employees, including administrative staff and outside consultants. FirstMed has grown in location and staffing, but our most important expansion has been in terms of the services we provide.
Nearly fifteen years ago, our clinic had provided very basic care: family practice, gynecology, and orthopedic services; today the wide range of specialty care we offer, combined with our extensive network of outside consultants, has made us one of the most valued international clinics in the city.
Still, what sets FirstMed apart from the rest of the clinics of Budapest, in my opinion, is the atmosphere: we are like a big family here. Although our patient flow is large, we still get to know our patients quite well. We try to get to know them personally, and try to deal not only with their medical issue at hand, but usually we also learn more of their story. It is much easier for us to treat people this way, and our patients tend to be less anxious coming to us, feeling like they also know us.
Many of our patients feel the general discomfort of being ill, with the added vulnerability of being in a country that is not their own. As a physician at such a clinic, my work goes beyond simply treating the ailments of my patients, and includes helping them feel more comfortable.
This is why I consider working here as somewhat of a mission, where we give our patients care that goes beyond physical healing. While other clinics of Budapest provide quality international care, we are the only ones with such a relaxing, friendly environment putting our patients and staff at ease.
Our positive, problem-solving attitude also makes us different: we do our best to try to schedule appointments on the day they are requested, delaying them only a few days at the most, should special complications arise.
Though part of our work is somewhat routine, we love unique and interesting cases, which often provide opportunity for our doctors to collaborate and come up with solutions together. One of the most outstanding of all my experiences at the clinic, was the case of a woman who had a brain tumor while she was pregnant. Together, we managed for her to be able to carry the baby to term, after which the mother had surgery to remove the tumor.
I really enjoy working here. I have given and received a lot through my years here. I have improved in every possible way. I feel that I became a better person through the personal connections. Even when I feel tired, I never come to work unhappy. I feel very lucky because my hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. FirstMed is my second home.