Welcome ceremony for first-semester students at MHB

Neuruppin, 4 April 2023

About 100 new students celebrated their start in programmes of medicine and psychotherapy at the Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane (MHB) with a ceremony at the event venue Kulturkirche Neuruppin last Monday. Prof. Dr. Ulrike Liedtke as president of the Brandenburg parliament welcomed the 69 prospective physicians and about 30 therapists and praised the contribution of the MHB to the provision of healthcare in the State of Brandenburg.

MHB president Prof. Hans-Uwe Simon spoke of the high degree of practical relevance and patient orientation awaiting the beginners in their chosen programmes and on behalf of the entire MHB wished them a good start, success and an enjoyable time. He expressed the university’s determination to offer best possible framework conditions for excellent training and a perfect start into professional life. He also invited the new students to get involved in university development: “Start a student initiative, become active as representatives in committees and panels, in the Senate or the Faculty Council.”

In her words of greeting, Brandenburg’s parliamentary president Prof. Ulrike Liedtke stressed the importance of the ceremony as a “glimpse into future developments”. Giving her audience an idea of what to expect during their studies and specifically afterwards, she spoke of feelings of great happiness to be able to help others, and joy to see patients recover, overcome emotional distress and regain confidence. As the other side of the coin, she mentioned long periods of duty and night shifts, overwhelming paperwork, and never enough time for conversation with patients. She addressed the truly existential challenges involved in the job: how to cope with death and with personal limits on a functional, mental and physical level: “Physicians and therapists, these professions are freighted with tremendous ethical expectations on the part of patients; and physicians and therapists have high expectations of themselves. I think we can rightly speak of vocations.”

Prof. Liedtke expressed pride and pleasure in the practice-oriented and science-based training of physicians and therapists provided by the MHB and its university hospitals as an increasingly significant contribution to healthcare in Brandenburg. Founded in 2014, the MHB entered new territory right from the start and courageously addressed urgent societal tasks with a strong research focus on care provision and health systems. Prof. Liedtke showed herself confident that the MHB will engage in joint research and lively exchange with a further medical school scheduled to be established in Cottbus over the next few years.

Prof. Markus Deckert, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, spoke of responsibility and humility involved in the work of physicians and therapists where desired results can never be forced. Prof. Johannes Lindenmeyer (clinical psychology) used his introductory words to prepare the students for the need to take a different attitude: “What we do is not for our own sake but in the service of our patients.”

Students Divya Prasad (medicine) and Franziska Weiß (psychotherapy) reported from their personal experience of student life. Divya Prasad assured her audience that far more activities are going on in the quaint and peaceful town of Neuruppin than she herself expected: kitchens in flat shares can serve as bars, and living rooms as dance floors, and the streets are definitely not deserted in the evenings.

TV presenter Carla Kniestedt again acted as moderator of the event, with musical accompaniment provided by Ruppin’s director of church music Matthias Noack and his choir and also by the Berlin Jazz Ensemble headed by Prof. Johannes Albes – pianist, saxophonist, double bass player, songwriter and MHB professor of cardiac surgery.

For a video with impressions of the ceremony click here.