Professor Aleš Linhart, M.D., DSc., FESC, FCMA

My professional career has been associated with the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University and the General University Hospital in Prague. I spent my student years here and with a little break of three years spent in France I work here as a doctor and teacher for almost thirty years.

If someone asks me today why I stayed faithful to “Karlák” (a familiar expression used for Charles Square) and the First Faculty of Medicine, my answer is clear. Because there are great people, the medicine is excellent and there is a unique environment allowing collaboration across many disciplines. True, sometimes you have to run from one place to another, but at the end you would find anything you need.

I feel that after many years of my deep involvement in cardiovascular medicine, the time has come to dedicate my energy and visions to the First Faculty of Medicine. In the years to come I would like to see its name “First”, in addition to the “biggest and oldest”, to be well-justified and deserved.

Modern medicine carries unusual demands. In 1950s the volume of data gathered in medicine doubled after 50 years, in 1980s it happened after 7 years and this year it will happen after several months…

Each of us comes every day to our work with two tasks, to do our best and at to improve our job a bit. If I look at our teaching of medicine today, I think it is time for a big change. The time when we taught “what” must be replaced by the time when we will be teaching “how”:

Data is now available everywhere, what we really need is to learn how to handle it and separate the true and valid evidence from superficial and misleading pseudo – evidence. Today, we will have to replace models of teaching we were successfully using only few years ago. Examples include the use of simulators, e-learning and bedside teaching.

The aim of the Faculty of Medicine is primarily to educate doctors. And a doctor is not just a pool of knowledge, manual abilities, critical, analytical and scientific thinking. The physician is primarily the one who brings the empathy to the sick, the ability to communicate and bring them not only medical science but also the human touch of medicine.

As we offer the medical education to English speaking students, we should realize that they will be our ambassadors all round the world. Our ambition should be to offer the them the best education we can and to stay in touch with them to create a Universal network of our alumni, who would be hopefully proud of their “Alma Mater” in Prague. My feeling is we owe them a lot….

The 1st Faculty of Medicine is the largest teaching medical facility in the Czech Republic. It has enormous scientific potential and a huge “brain trust” of talented people. They all have a common goal – to do their work well and improve it every day. The aim is to combine their efforts in one direction, to move our faculty further into the 21st century…