The Vienna-OMI proudly presents its 500th Observer.
Belma Pojskic, cardiologist from Bosnia and Herzegovina, completed her observership in November 2011 at the Viennese Hospital Wilhelminenspital. Her mentor was Prim. Univ.Prof. Dr. Kurt Huber, head of the 3rd Medical Department with Cardiology. She kindly gave us a written interview about the Vienna-OMI.
Belma Pojskic, you have participated three times in the Vienna-OMI observership-program, the last time in November 2011.
Q: Did the Vienna-OMI influence your career?
A: Vienna-OMI influenced my career in many positive ways. My first contact with medical programmes in Austria was in 1998 when I, as a specialist of internal medicine, visited the AAF (Austrian-American Foundation) sponsored seminar in Salzburg. Two years after that I did my first Vienna-OMI observership programme. These visits have broaden my perspectives and the quality time that I've spent in a different professional environment gave an impulse to my scientific development. In years that followed I got my Master Degree, PhD , Cardiology subspecialty, European Cardiologist and Fellow of ESC.Today I am head of Department for Internal diseases in Cantonal hospital Zenica.
Q: Do you think the Vienna-OMI had or will have an impact on medical standards in your home country?
A: The main impact that Vienna-OMI had on medicine in Bosnia and Herzegovina is through the medical staff it educated. Positive practices observed and learned during the stay of our doctors were adopted and transferred into our medical system in the range of our possibilities.
Q: Could procedures be implemented?
A: My personal experience is that the procedures dependent on the skills and knowledge of the doctors are completely implementable. For example in Cardiology procedures like ultrasound of the heart and transesophageal echocardiography are performed in the same manner and with same results as in Austria, while treatment methods must be modified in the relationship with the possibilities provided by our health insurance system.
Q: Were collaborations with Austrian physicians started?
A: I'm glad to state that during my three visits I've written articles together with Austrian doctors which were published. I hope that we will start collaboration in organizing different seminars, lectures, and why not projects that will improve the health system in my country.
Q: How did you perceive Austrian medicine/the Austrian medical system? Did the Vienna-OMI change (confirm) your view of Austrian medicine?
A: My focus was on parts of the medical system that are less developed in B&H. Austrian medicine is prevention-oriented with strong primary medicine which eases the burden on the secondary and tertiary level. It was interesting to see that the patients can go directly to specialists without order from family medicine doctor (editor's note: general practitioner). Since my country is historically and geographically close to Austria I've had already certain knowledge about your medical system which was proven to be correct, but apart from that the spectrum of the medical services provided is amazing.
Q: Did you notice any change of the Vienna-OMI program between your three visits?
A: The Vienna-OMI program grew during the past decade, becoming more diverse and interesting with every visit. New contents were provided with every visit, which avoided repeating of the procedures and practices seen before. The change of the clinic was also useful, since it showed the same standards and level of health care in different institutions.
Q: One of the goals of Vienna-OMI is to spread medical knowledge internationally. Did you recognise any impact on that goal?
A: Vienna-OMI observership is now part of the CV of many doctors from different countries. It also enabled the participants to get to know different nations and cultures, to get acquainted with other medical systems from neighbouring and distant countries and to learn a bit about problems in health care worldwide. I find the international component of the programme vital to its originality, where all the participants observed, practiced and learned, and then carried that knowledge to their own professional environment and tried to implement it the best they could.
Q: Do you see any future benefit for Austrian physicians and yourself through the Vienna-OMI?
A: It's very good for Austrian physicians to have contact with doctors from other countries where the health care system is underdeveloped in comparison to Austria. That's the opportunity for them to learn that medicine can be practiced relatively successful with less finances and infrastructure. Possible future benefit for me is the possibility to implement part of the things I've learned in my own country.
Q: Would you recommend the program to your colleagues? If so, why?
A: I would definitely recommend this program to my colleagues. It is a unique opportunity to learn in a stimulating environment and to gain new clinical skills in modern medicine. On my recommendation few (editor's note: some) doctors already participated in this program and all of them carried positive impressions.