Almost twenty Japanese students of the Medicine and Pharmacy programme in English in Poděbrady had a unique opportunity to experience the atmosphere of a highly professional medical symposium. On October 2, the city of Poděbrady hosted the Czech-Japanese Surgical Symposium 2023, which took place in close proximity to the teaching facilities of Charles University in the Na Kovárně Theatre.
Professor MUDr. PhDr. Karel Novák, DrSc., FICS, the conference organizer, personally welcomed the students at the registration. The first vice-president of the International College of Surgeons, the oldest worldwide surgical organization, under the auspices of which the Czech-Japanese section of the Poděbrady symposium was held, demonstrated his knowledge of Japanese and encouraged the students to actively participate in the discussion with young Czech doctors attending the symposium. Professor Novák also invited the students to an evening concert of folk songs performed by the Carmina Bohemica women's choir, which the Japanese ambassador also attended.
The students of the ÚJOP UK foundation programme registered and took their seats in the auditorium, where they took advantage of the free time before the official opening and began to debate with the Japanese doctors who were present at the symposium. The event was held under the auspices of Vlastimil Válek, the Minister of Health of the Czech Republic, Professor Jan Pirk, a prominent surgeon and senator, and Roman Schulz, the mayor of Poděbrady. In his opening address, the mayor mentioned that on the eve of the conference the town had celebrated the 800th anniversary of the first written record of the existence of the town of Poděbrady.
Professor Kotaro Maeda, MD, Ph.D., president of the Japanese section of the International College of Surgeons, also greeted the symposium participants. Professor Maeda thanked for the invitation to the Czech-Japanese Surgical Symposium 2023 and emphasized the importance of the symposium in strengthening the ties between the two nations and in developing further cooperation between surgeons in the Czech Republic and Japan.
The students of the ÚJOP UK foundation programme attended the first part of the morning programme, in which the doctors of the Pardubice hospital focused on a relatively new method of surgical treatment of rectal cancer - transanal total mesorectal excision (TaTME). After a lecture on the topic of lateral lymph node dissection in rectal cancer, delivered by a representative of the Japanese University of Kurume, Professor Maeda's contribution followed. As the third speaker of the technical session, he gave a presentation on long-term results of minimally invasive transanal surgery for rectal cancer with 243 patients.
The Czech-Japanese Symposium 2023 meant for our students an exceptional encounter with world-class medical capacities and reinforced their determination to complete their medical studies and pursue this highly interesting profession.
Professor Karel Novák
worked as a surgeon at the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University in Pilsen, at the University Hospital in Motol and as a consultant professor at hospitals in Příbram and Beroun. He lectured at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport of Charles University. In 2021 he was elected first vice-president of the prestigious International College of Surgeons, the highest position achieved by a Czech surgeon since the world presidency of Professor Arnold Jirásek in 1936-1938. The organisation, which operates in more than 100 countries, was founded in 1935 in Geneva and has six continental federations.