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Other news - Monday, 11 November, 2019

"There is serious teamwork behind the results"

In the past year, there have been many changes at our School related to the welfare of the colleagues and students, and the novelties in international relations and developments also appear in his annual evaluation and summary of Professor Tamás Tényi, Vice-Dean for General Affairs, Student Welfare and International Relations. He also praised the work of the nearly one hundred colleagues who contributed to the development in many areas, and to opening up new avenues to the ideas.

 

Written by Rita Schweier

 

- Your responsibilities include a wide range of welfare areas, including the operation of the Health Psychology Consulting Service whose effectiveness has become unquestionable in recent years. Are there any new ideas in connection with it?

- Indeed, the service has a long history and positive feedback. I got the professional supervision and coordination from the previous Dean, Dr. Attila Miseta during his second cycle. I have established a very good professional relationship - also due to the old acquaintance - with Dr. József Varga, head of the Service, with whom we managed to define the profile and competencies of the Service in 2014, therefore we now see exactly how the Service can help and when we have to seek support from other care systems. This gives great security to the Service staff as well as to us at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. Fortunately, besides the traditional individual, professional counselling, several new, group technical elements have appeared in recent years in the work of the Health Psychology Consulting Service, such as the short stress management method or various learning technique courses. Their appearance on the website and in the social media has become more and more colourful.

- Do the colleagues of the School also use the help of the Service, or is it rather characteristic of the students?

- There are more students, but the colleagues of the School turn up occasionally as well. Hungarian students use this service in the highest number, followed by the English students, then the German students in a smaller number.

- Is it possible to group the problems with which they turn to the Service?

- Foreign students in many cases struggle with the difficulty of integration because of the major cultural changes they undergo and they do not easily experience the period of adulthood either, similar to the Hungarian students. Separation from the parents and the aspects of privacy and relationships can also be problematic. There is also an other kind of learning burden because they face different requirements than they are familiar with from high school. They may also need to acquire new learning techniques to overcome the obstacles successfully. Thus, there is a very wide range of issues to be addressed by the Service’s psychiatrists, psychologists and consultants. The new types of courses do not help with focusing on specific problems, but can help to solve them in an indirect sense. These are also available to the colleagues of the Dean's Office and prove to be useful.

- There is also great emphasis on drug prevention.

- I have already faced the problem of drug use and the associated learning and integration problems during my first cycle as Vice-Dean. In an organized form, the management and prevention of this started in the last one year in the form of a cooperation initiated by the colleagues of the Pécs Drug Ambulance along with the student council, the EGSC, and the psychiatrist and psychologist colleagues. Drug use can be seen in connection with university parties, such as the Freshman Ball or the International Evening, and with programmes in the city not organised by the university.

Unfortunately, seeing what is happening in the country and in the world, we should not be naïve and overly optimistic, but we must place great emphasis on prevention. As part of this, we have distributed flyers to the various faculties of the university and to external venues too, and we are confident that through the student council and EGSC the process of helping activity will begin among the students. Experience shows that peer support activities are very effective.

- The Cyclists’ breakfast is not losing its popularity; it is one of the fresh spots of welfare initiatives.

- Yes, it is kind of a promotional meeting in that respect that the leadership of the School would like to help and to further encourage students and colleagues who frequently use their bicycles with accident prevention information, checking and expanding the equipment of the bicycles, and small gifts. We have launched another initiative in connection with this, which includes a bicycle course among the physical education courses that students can choose and have its completion confirmed. We are striving to establish more and more secure bicycle storage facilities at each premise of the School because the number of the storages is still insufficient. Building cycle paths is another recurring issue that we discussed with the city leaders in the spring. Our goal is for these paths to reach areas where educational and clinical activities are taking place. Smaller sections already exist, but further improvements are necessary. A small bicycle work team has been set up at the School to periodically review what has happened. We also planned a Pécs-Orfű bicycle tour, which we will repeat because last time the weather intervened and we were unable to implement the programme.

- You find the publication and promotion of artistic activities important and you also support these.

- Yes, I keep thinking about further possibilities. I would like to help the students and colleagues to show their spontaneous self-expression activities and aspirations, so we have expanded our photography and art competitions. The "School photo of the month" already exists, as well as "The University of Pécs through the eyes of the students", in the latter we are expecting the students' creations in different genres. We have also launched a competition called “My summer experiences”, so the possibilities are wide. It would be a good idea to create a separate newspaper besides the Orvoskari Hírmondó (Medical Newsletter) and Confabula to present these artworks. We are also planning a book series titled "Famous Doctors of Pécs", which will look at the work of excellent, past colleagues with documents, studies, old writings, memoirs, thus commemorating them. A similar one was published by Pál Schmidt who wrote two books on the work of renowned medical professors and chief physicians in Pécs, in the framework of short studies. Our idea is a little different because we are thinking about publishing separate books on outstanding personalities. The first one of these books is planned to be published about Professor Camillo Reuter who was the director of the Neurology and Mind Clinic between the two World Wars and is associated with the summary of the clinic's psychopathological drawing and painting collection. On two occasions he was also the Dean of the university, as well as the dominant figure of the intellectuals of Pécs. I believe that these works, beyond the narrower professional aspects, could serve as historical and social sociography, so they could be valuable in several ways.

- You also have an important, coordinator role in shaping and modifying the external environment, which applies to the School’s spaces and service areas. With the building of the new theoretical, educational block, this will be even more spectacular as the community spaces will expand along with the dining options.

- I am just lagging behind the Dean in discussions about these issues because this is one of his favourite areas, he cares about it a lot. / smiles - ed. / We currently have a small restaurant underneath the Department of Behavioural Sciences, and the canteens are working with the previous ownership backgrounds. In the new building, we are planning to create a new restaurant that is based on the principle of healthy eating and has a diverse selection so that students from all over the world can find dishes according to their taste. Besides the characteristics of the Hungarian cuisine, we would also like to show the cuisines of different regions. It is also essential to meet special needs, such as vegetarians, vegans, and various dietary requirements.

- The Emeritus Club is a new development at the School.

- It was initiated by the Dean and Professor Zsuzsanna Füzesi. The essence of the club is that the emeritus professors meet 2-3 times a year and receive fresh information about the School and the plans through the Dean’s reports during lunch or dinner. We are also planning scientific presentations on topics many people are interested in. The point is to have an informal, friendly gathering where the participants can talk about the past, their shared experiences, their family, or even the latest scientific results, since it is a community of great spirit. Professor Emil Fischer has undertaken the Club’s leadership with great enthusiasm, attention and affection. It is important to note that this club is not a rival to the Board of Professors, as in the latter there are younger colleagues and directors as well and its programme is related more closely to the university's current affairs and everyday life. The leader of the Board of Professors is Professor Tamás Dóczi.

- It is also important to have joint celebrations that help to form the community and strengthen the belonging, the sense of shared experiences. Innovations have started in this area as well.

- A new event is the Breakfast Party for the nearly one hundred colleagues of the Dean's Office. This is a breakfast organised as Christmas approaches where we can informally evaluate the year, talk about the lessons we have learned, the plans, and the Dean’s leadership can also thank the colleagues for their annual work. We, the leaders would not be able to work effectively if this team was not behind us and did not do much of the work, we are grateful for them. The Club of Secretaries is also a new initiative, which is not only a meeting of secretaries but also of administrators in various departments, organized by Zsuzsanna Varga, head of the Dean's Office. The first gatherings were of great interest and the colleagues were in a good mood.

- What are your responsibilities in the field of international relations?

- This area has a prominent role in both the university’s and the Dean’s leadership, so I am only one of the people in charge. For years, Professor Gábor Menyhei led the Committee on International Relations; Professor András Büki took over this task. In many respects, this committee and its associated office coordinate the international relations. Plans include the development of joint PhD programmes and Erasmus programmes. A new development is – mainly due to the work of Professor Dóra Reglődi Vice-Dean for Science and Professor András Büki - the Visiting Professorship system, which means that a foreign professor, researcher can visit our School for a longer period of time, for several months, and they can teach and do research here at an appropriate fee. There are also contacts with distant universities, most recently with three new Japanese and two new American universities, and besides our cooperation with the Buffalo University has been prospering for a long time. I would also like to mention two new relationships related to psychiatry. We organized a joint psychiatric symposium with the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Würzburg in March in Pécs, and I visited them in October. The head of department is also the Vice-Dean for international relations at the university there, which can play an important role in further developing the relationship besides the fact that the two departments have been conducting joint research for more than a year.

We are also delighted to prepare for the lecture of Professor Spitzer, a prominent figure in German psychiatry from Ulm University, who will come here next spring and give a lecture on a very exciting topic. He will talk about the harms caused by the excessive use of a variety of modern information technology devices in a multi-channel, parallel way, from a psychiatric point of view. This topic is also interesting because it is still debated today, not everyone is in favour of its justification. This will also be an important element of networking.

- You are also responsible for maintaining contact with the teaching hospitals.

- Professor Árpád Bellyei visits our teaching hospitals regularly and the Dean and I accompany him periodically. He has a good sense of recognising the needs of each institution and finds the ways to help as well. Dr. László Czopf, Vice-Dean for Education monitors the educational activities of the hospitals, the goal is to effectively support the training in accordance with the requirements of the School. Therefore, I receive excellent help in this area too.

There are new developments in this regard as well, we are establishing external departments, and currently there is a demand for this in Győr. The “Hova tovább?” (“Where next?”) day is also important, which has been organised for years and in the framework of this event the teaching hospitals have the opportunity to present their offers to prospective residents. The leaders of the teaching hospitals are also present at the event and they provide an overview of their institution and job opportunities, and the event is a good opportunity for a discussion with the Dean's leadership as well.

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