For the the third part of The Alumni Interview series this month, we contacted Max Neun, MD, class of 2012, who specializes in Anesthesiology.
Please, tell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from Stuttgart, Germany. I lived there until 19 years of age. After finishing high school I went to the US to work in a non medical job for a year. Upon returning from the US, I knew that I wanted to study medicine, because it combined my interest for natural sciences with strong human interaction. It was very difficult to obtain a place to study medicine in Germany, so I decided to pursue medicine through English in Hungary. Initially I only intended to study there for two years and then to complete my studies at a German university. However, when the time came, and after receiving a few offers from German Universities to return, I decided to stay in Szeged, in part due to the good education that the University provided.
Where do you currently work and why did you choose your current line of work?
I am currently working in the UK, in an Anesthetic training program on the outskirts of London. My interest in natural sciences combined with the extremes of medicine. Everything begins with A (Airway) and ends in ITU.
How is the working environment?
The working environment is very friendly here in the UK, but everybody in Anesthetics is working roughly 11 hour shifts per day . We are the first ones to arrive and the last ones to leave the hospital. The stress on the job is immense because numerous things can go wrong at any given time, however it keeps you focused throughout the day.
How well do you get by on your salary?
The salary is good enough to survive, especially since you have little time to spend it…
How is the workload?
Heavy workload with huge responsibility.
How well did your university studies prepare you?
Studying at the University of Szeged has prepared me quite well for the theoretical side of Medicine. As you all know if you have taken exams in Szeged, the exam questions the professors ask are quite detailed, more detailed than at other universities. This detailed knowledge will also help you for your specialty exams in the UK – FRCA for anesthetics or MRCP for internal medicine.
For the practical knowledge it is imperative that you go and do your final (sixth) year in the country that you want to work in to gain experience and develop skills such as history taking or physical examinations as is expected of you in that country. I went to Dublin in Ireland to complete many of my rotations at hospitals affiliated with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. There I improved my practical knowledge of how to be a Doctor.
What skills were you missing, are you wishing you had?
No Doctor, coming from any University is prepared for the job. You’ll learn so much during your first year as a doctor.
Do you wish you had done something different during your university years?
What skills were most critical in your success?
Perseverance. You’ll need plenty. And you can never dream too big.
Any words of wisdom and advice to students trying to decide where and what to work with?
Study hard. Take each exam with a smile. A fail is not the end of the world. Six years will fly by. Do your last year electives in the country that you wish to work in. Anesthetics is the best specialty in the world…!
Thanks for taking the time to keep us in the loop! We hope to see you and your friends agains at the 30th anniversary of the English Language Program in September.
The Alumni Team