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At the University of Debrecen Medical and Health Sciences Center (UDMHSC), the Division of Rheumatology, then belonging to the Third Department of Medicine, was founded in 2001. Our division became a structurally and financially independent Department of Rheumatology from June 1, 2008.
Rheumatology care at UDMHSC started in the 70's at the Third Department of Medicine chaired by Professor Gyula Szegedi. Professor Szegedi's main interest has been connective tissue diseases (CTD) and Debrecen became the largest autoimmunity center in Hungary. Drs László Tamási and then Péter Surányi started rheumatology care. They followed-up thousands of patients, mainly with arthritis and CTDs. I took over rheumatology care and education in 2004. After the division and then the department were established, our unit became a regional center for rheumatology care, research, as well as graduate and postgraduate education.
Currently, I am the head of the department. Our personnel consist of Assistant Professors Gabriella Szücs MD, PhD and Sándor Szántó MD, PhD as rheumatologists-internists. We also have Zoltán Szabó MD, PhD and Andrea Váncsa MD, both specialized in rheumatology and internal medicine, Szilvia Szamosi MD, PhD, an internist, as well as Nóra Bodnár MD, a rheumatology resident. Other personnel include secretary, nurses, study nurses and coordinators, physiatrists (see Colleagues).
We provide both outpatient and inpatient care. Twenty beds serve for inpatient care and we have 30 hours of outpatient service. Our main profiles are arthritis and systemic CTDs including rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, gout, scleroderma, lupus, vasculitides, etc. WE primarily serve Eastern Hungary, however, 30% of our patients are coming from the rest of the country. We treat about 1000 inpatients a year, and the special outpatient clinics serve 8-9000 patients per year. Between 8-9 am each day we offer early arthritis clinic for urgent cases and new early arthritis/CTD cases. The physiotherapy unit works for both outpatients and inpatients every day in 6 hours and offers exercise, massage, electrotherapy, magnetotherapy, ultrasound therapy, Bioptron lamp, softlaser, etc. (More information under Patient care)
Certainly the major role of the university department is the coordination of education. We are collaborating with the Kenézy Hospital rheumatology unit. Our 4-week rheumatology program includes 12 one-hour oral lectures and 8 hours of practice, plus additional summer practice of one week. We teach musculoskeletal disease in accordance with orthopedics, traumatology, neurosurgery and radiology. We also educate GPs, physiatrists and other professionals. Regarding postgraduate education, rheumatology training is for 5 years. We carry our residency training and then board examination.
Our major research interests are: pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, scleroderma and other CTDs, biological therapy, vascular disease associated with arthritis, immunogenetics, Toll receptors and epidemiological studies. We also carry out phase I-III clinical drug trials. We have completed more than 40 student theses. We have fruitful collaboration with several collegues int he US, Israel, the Netherlands and the UK.
Regarding scientometry, members of the department have published more than 200 original papers, 6 books, about 50 book chapters so far. Our total citation index is over 1200.
Phone: +36-52-255-091 (secretariat)
Fax: +36-52-255-091 or +36-52-414-489
E-mail: reuma [dot] titkarsag [at] med [dot] unideb [dot] hu
Prof. Zoltán Szekanecz, MD, PhD, DSc
Head of department