2023. February 3., Friday
Szegedi Tudományegyetem Szent-Györgyi Albert Orvostudományi Kar

University of Szeged
Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical School
 
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Thirty-seven years working for the women and families of Szeged

Gábor Németh, who has been working at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Szeged for 37 years, has recently received a state decoration.

Gábor Németh has been working at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Szeged for 37 years, and he also delivered his own grandchild 3 years ago. He has been running the department for many years, during which time it has undergone significant development. Last year, for instance, a neonatal intensive care unit was opened on the third floor. The professor has recently received a state decoration.


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Gábor Németh started working at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University of Szeged after his graduation in 1985, and for the past 7 years he has been the head of the department. He has further expanded the surgical repertoire of the department and implemented reforms in undergraduate and postgraduate training, while striving to further strengthen the scientific performance of the department and its relations with other Hungarian institutions


The professor places great emphasis on the protection of families and women and, as a member of the Pro Familia Hungarian Scientific Society, on improving the demographic situation as well. As a result, it came as no surprise when he was recently awarded the Knight's Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit in recognition of his professional activities. He believes that this could not have been achieved without a stable family background, just as you cannot live a full life without a family.

- My father was a biologist, and even some of my current colleagues attended his premedical course. He taught me as well. I had never considered any other option but to become a doctor. However, obstetrics and gynecology only captured my interest in the third or fourth year, when I did some student research work at the department, and then I stayed for good. Professor László Kovács, the former head of the department, played a very decisive role in my professional development; he was an icon in my life, he introduced me to laboratory work at a very young age - recalls the Vice-Dean for General Affairs and Professional Training at the Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical School.


It was at the suggestion of László Kovács as well that he travelled to the United States early in his career to work in the field of gynecological endocrinology at Yale University under the guidance of Frederick Naftolin. Gábor Németh is also grateful to his father-in-law, who helped him get a job at the department. Today the situation is different: it is much easier to get a position as a gynecologist, since is not a very attractive career for young doctors because of being a very demanding and challenging field.


- In our profession, too, it is true that you can only be good at it if you do it meticulously and love what you do. It's also important to have a good team and cooperation at the workplace. I think our team is like that; my colleagues hang together, especially the young ones. But as a young doctor, you also have to keep in mind what Professor János Gellén taught me earlier, that in order to be able to get something out of the basket when you are older, you have to put it in first, that is, you have to learn, you need practice and experience so that you can feed off the basket later on, he emphasized.


The professor's goal is to please patients, colleagues and the university management as well, to make everyone happy with the way the clinic is run, even if sometimes it is not an easy task. Gábor Németh is one of those doctors and heads of department who listen to patients' requests and, if they are worth considering, do something about it. In 2019, for example, after a lengthy approval process, the Szeged clinic permitted fathers to be present at caesarean sections at the request of patients.

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- I thought it was important to introduce this, as it increases the mother's sense of comfort, because the person they are starting a family with can be there, the bond between father and child can become closer, and the relationship between the couple is also strengthened, he pointed out.


It was also under the leadership of Gábor Németh that a neonatal intensive care unit was established on the third floor of the Szeged clinic in 2021.


- The original plan was to erect a two-storey building for premature babies in our courtyard, connected to the delivery room in the existing building by a corridor. However, we did not have the financial resources to realize this, so we built the unit on the third floor. This means that premature babies no longer have to be taken to the pediatric hospital by ambulance or in an incubator, as had been the case for decades, but they are cared for locally by a neonatologist, he said.


Gábor Németh also highlighted that the profession had changed significantly in the last three decades, for example, they can now remove the uterus through three tiny openings, whereas 30 years ago they needed large incisions, and while at the time patients were hospitalized for seven days, today they can go home feeling well after three days. This laparoscopic procedure was first performed in Szeged by Gábor Németh.


We asked the professor if he kept track of the number of children he had delivered over the past 37 years. He was quick to answer no, adding that if he were to start from scratch, he would certainly do it differently, if not by name, then by keeping some kind of record of every birth. He added that on the wall of his home office there is a huge picture frame in which he puts the photos he gets from parents at the 6-week check-up. But it's no surprise that this frame is already full, so the new photos will have to be found a new place.


- But that's not the only thing I would do differently. I operated on my daughter-in-law when my grandchild was born via C-section, but I forgot to ask a colleague to capture the moment when I lifted the baby out and it was not so happy about being taken out of the warmth and we looked at each other. It was a beautiful moment, I regret that no pictures were taken.


In his spare time, the professor tries to spend as much time as possible with his family, but this is not easy as both his children and his three-year-old grandchild live abroad. His wife is also a doctor and one of their sons has also chosen the same career, while their other son has become a lawyer. He also likes gardening and there are certain dishes that only he prepares at home, such as the Hungarian-style fish soup.


Gábor Németh will certainly work as the Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Szeged for another three and a half years, and he would like to see the exterior of the more than 100-year-old building renovated, but at the moment there are no funds available to realize this goal.

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