SEIFERT, A/Prof Bohumil
Czech Republic : Prague HOC chair
With the WONCA World conference being held in Prague later in June 2013, this month we feature the Host Organising Committee Chair, A/Prof Bohumil Seifert MD PhD
What work are you doing currently?
Since 2009, I have been a head of the Institute of General Practice at the First Faculty of Medicine, of Charles University, in Prague. This position gives me a good opportunity to facilitate the development of academic general practice in the Czech Republic.
As is the case in other Central and Eastern European countries, general practice had never been recognised as an academic discipline. It was not easy to push this through. I have been lucky to have a chance to utilise knowledge and experience collected internationally from many colleagues I have met over the last decades – colleagues I met at academic GP departments, teaching practices, and of course at WONCA networks and conferences.
I have been given a fantastic opportunity to pay back what I have gained: it is a privilege to organise the coming WONCA World Conference being held in my hometown of Prague, in June 2013. Currently as a chair of the Host Organising Committee (HOC), I spend most of my time working in order to make the WONCA 2013 conference a successful event.
What are your interests in work and outside work?
I am involved in research on epidemiology of gastrointestinal disorders and I am specifically interested in colorectal cancer screening. This was the topic of my PhD theses and habilitation work. Besides my academic job, I keep working part time in my surgery, which also serves as a teaching practice. I need to act as a doctor, to see patients and to be involved in a practice management, an exciting part of our job.
I also serve as a scientific secretary of Czech Society of General Practice, the body hosting the WONCA 2013 conference. I am a member of several international committees and WONCA Working groups.
I try to keep on playing sport: hiking, jogging, bicycling, tennis, golf, downhill and cross country skiing. I enjoy the Prague cultural life and like attending concerts, the theatre and exhibitions.
What is it like to work as a family doctor in the Czech Republic?
This takes time to explain. Our generation of GPs was lucky due to political changes in the nineties that allowed us to run practices on our own, privately. This made our job, in an era of polyclinics with minimal GP competence, much more attractive. At the same time, it was however, hard if done on a high quality level.
The position of GPs in our heath care system has been substantially improved since that time and the Czech Society of GP is a leading body in this development. At present, we face a new wave of interest in becoming a general practitioner, from our students.
WONCA 2013 is a good opportunity to visit Czech general practices and explore the atmosphere there.
The WONCA editor would like to thank Bohumil on taking precious time out from organising the WONCA 2013 Prague World conference to do this interview.
See you in Prague!