Budapest Neprology School – History

In 1992, Dr. Laszlo Rosivall recommended to the late Dr. Rosco Robinson, then the president of ISN, to help establish a nephrology school in Budapest. Dr. Rosivall argued that such a school would immensely foster the reviving of nephrology practice in the ex-socialist countries. At that time, and even today, many young physicians from the central Europe could not afford attending such courses in the USA or other western countries. However, Dr. Rosivall found easy and economic ways to invite international educators to Budapest to train a great number of young nephrologists easier and more economic. In 1994, he organized the 1st Budapest Nephrology School only to find it as the most prestigious nephrology course in the region within a few years. The 1st school was offered in one day, later it was expanded to a 3-day course and now it comprises an intensive 7-days program. Each year, participants from more than 25 countries attend the school. This school, which has received the imprimatur of the International Society of Nephrology, the European Dialysis and Transplant Association and the European Kidney Research Association, is a superb institution for introducing new basic science and clinical information to trainees and new nephrologists. Participants have come to attend this school from all parts of Europe and all other continents. State-of-the-art lectures, live discussions, EU accredited CME credits, a pleasant environment in the beautiful city of Budapest, excellent management and hospitality together with an strikingly low participation fee make this school attractive and a must-to-attend. There is a mutual sense of satisfaction from both the participants and the faculty. The participants are satisfied with the high standard of the lectures and the faculty enjoys educating the very interactive and willing-to-learn young doctors. To recognize the importance of this school, on the ceremonial 10th anniversary of the Budapest Nephrology School (2003), Dr. Laszlo Rosivall received the special honorary Diploma of the President of ISN and the Dean Medal of the Vanderbilt University (USA).

Throughout these years many people, faculty and organizers, have contributed constantly and worked hard on the development of the Budapest Nephrology School with little expectations or remuneration, if any. We are greatly thankful to all the faculty members, including those who could not contribute to his book due to their other commitments. I was privileged to be closely involved with many great people for five successive years when I served as the coordinator of the Budapest Nephrology School. I have witnessed how our respectable faculty allowed themselves only a minimal rest after a transatlantic or long European travel and preferred to spend their time with the participants and help them solve their problems, teach and inspire them. I was always inspired, motivated and moved. Our special thanks are due to Drs. T. Andreoli, J.M. Bargman, J. Dirks, T.B. Drücke, G. Hercz, F. Locatelli, E. Ritz, G. Schulman and J.J., Weening and all those who have always so warmly and generously supported the Budapest Nephrology School. The Semmelweis University, Hungarian Kidney Foundation, ISN, COMGAN, EDTA/ERA, EKRA, the Hungarian Nephrological Society, Vanderbilt University and University of Toronto have been the major patrons of the school in the past decade (picture 2).
It would be more appropriate for me just to quote the words of the international experts of nephrology if I wanted to correctly picture the Budapest Nephrology School. They believe:
„…, it is a pleasure for the International Society of Nephrology to recognize the tradition established by Dr. Rosivall and his colleagues in the heart of Europe, servicing so many colleagues in their quest for knowledge. Experts from various parts of the world have contributed to render the Budapest School into one of the best of its kind. We congratulate Dr. Rosivall on this momentous achievement.” Jan J. Weening, ISN President.
„As a President of ERA-EDTA association I’m very proud that our Society is a sponsor of the Budapest Nephrology School that next year will celebrate the 10th Anniversary. The best comment about the quality of this school come from a letter I received from one of the participants at last school „I was fortunate to be one of the sponsored delegate by the ERA. I do not have any words to express my sincere gratitude to the ERA and especially you for considering me for the grant from ERA.” I do believe there are no other words to add!” Francesco Locatelli, President of ERA-EDTA.
„The Semmelweis University under the dedicated leadership of Professor Rosivall has developed the tradition of an annual Nephrology Summer School in Budapest… The panel of experts is impressive and has included some of the top leaders of nephrology in the world. In recognition of the high standard of this meeting, both the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the European Renal Association (ERA) co-sponsor this important event.” Eberhard Ritz, Chairman of ISN COMGAN Committee for Central/Eastern Europe, Andrzej Wiecek, on behalf of ERA-EDTA

Vanderbilt University Medical School

The cooperation of the Vanderbilt University with the Budapest Nephrology School and the Semmelweis University is the true example of a successful joint educational undertaking. The Budapest Nephrology School is indebted to the foresight of Professors Rosco Robinson, John Dirks and Barry Brenner to fostering relations between developing and established nephrology programs. In particular, Dr. Robinson charged Professor Gerald Schulman with evaluating the needs of the Nephrology School at Semmelweis University as well as the basic sciences resources at the medical school. Dr. Schulmann has remained as an eminent member of the Budapest Nephrology School for over a decade. Working closely with Dr. Rosivall, they managed to establish a sister relationship between Semmelweis and Vanderbilt University Medical Schools. This relationship allowed transfer of medical equipment from Vanderbilt, start-up funding for a cell culture laboratory.

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto/Semmelweis University Nephrology Sister relationship
program was established. Dr. Gavril Hercz was involved and supportive of this program from the very beginning. This program undertook several projects and a key innovation was the sponsorship of Hungarian nephrology fellows, who were integrated into the Toronto fellowship program with the unlimited support of Dr. J.J. Bargman. The Hungarian fellows spent 2 to 3 years in clinical and research pursuits prior to their return to Hungary where they were able to disseminate the lessons learned. This joint fellowship program is still on going. Another successful undertaking was the integration of University of Toronto nephrology faculty members into the Budapest Nephrology School. This was enthusiastically embraced by the Toronto group as it allowed for a unique opportunity to disseminate information not only to Hungarian attendees but also to nephrologists and trainees from many other countries. The ripple effect of both the annual meeting and the returning nephrology fellows continues to be markedly pronounced in Hungary. Both the Hungarian fellows that returned from Toronto and the Hungarian attendees at the School, in their local travels throughout the surrounding countries, continued the process of passing on vital information gained. In this way a small seed that was planted has grown into quite a large oak (picture3). 

The collective efforts of the faculty of the Budapest Nephrology School, the insights of the editors and the technical support of the Hungarian National Press have culminated in the creation of this monograph which will commemorate the Budapest Nephrology School for the years to come and will be an asset for the future young nephrologists.

Shahrokh MirzaHosseini, M.D.