The attractions of country life

Guben/Neuruppin, 15 October 2018

The town of Guben was the destination of the MHB van with seven medical students on board on its first tour to the countryside in Brandenburg last weekend (13/14 October).

The idea is to visit regions threatened by a shortage of medical care and raise their chances to attract future physicians. Other passengers on board the MHB van were MHB dean Prof. Dr. Edmund Neugebauer, Prof. Dr. Günter Fleischer as chairman of the MHB donors association and a key initiator and organizer of the project, and a representative of the Brandenburg Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians KVBB as a major supporter.

The town on the River Neisse in the Niederlausitz region had organized a varied and informative schedule for the guests, including meetings with the mayor, town councillors and local physicians, a ride on the historic tram, and a tour through the Plastinarium, the famous and controversial anatomy lab and museum founded by Gunther von Hagens. A critical debate with the founder’s son Rurik von Hagens was followed by a guided tour through the exhibition.

This first excursion with the MHB van was a genuine success for students and organizers alike. Prof. Fleischer thanked all participants as well as the town of Guben for their contribution to building bridges between the Brandenburg Medical School, rural municipalities with a demand for medical services, and local physicians.

MHB dean Neugebauer cited the slogan “for country and region” as part of the MHB mission statement: “The threatening and partially already existing shortage of physicians in Brandenburg was a reason to found our medical school. We aim to qualify physicians specifically for the region. It is well known that graduates are more likely to set up as family doctors or specialists in rural areas if they come from such a background themselves and if during their medical studies they establish contacts to general practitioners, specialists and various hospitals and get to know and hopefully appreciate working and living conditions on site. The MHB van is an additional suitable project to attract future doctors to country life. We are all familiar with the saying that it takes an entire village to bring up a child. In the same manner, it takes a bundle of measures, initiatives and sponsors to ensure and improve medical care in the state of Brandenburg, and the MHB van on tour is an excellent example of how to proceed.”

Guben’s Mayor Fred Mahro declared himself much impressed by the MHB students and highly pleased to welcome one or the other graduate as a physician in town, in view of the important task to ensure the provision of medical care for the local population today and in future.

MUDr./ČS Peter Noack (KVBB) pointed to years of close cooperation with the authorities in Guben toward this goal: “Brandenburg municipalities need to proactively recruit young physicians for out-patient services in the region. Efforts to this effect cannot start soon enough, and the MHB van on tour is a clever way to bring communities and future doctors together.”
A second excursion with the MHB van is already in preparation, with Luckau as the destination on two days in November.