Czech Hospital Placements Program

Czech Hospital Placements Program

Why choose Czech Hospital Placements Program?

CHP Program offers specialty clinical insight experience to English speaking students from 17 to 26 years old all year long. Only with us, you know all about the specialty departments and your mentoring teams before you apply (such as Neurosurgery, Cardiosurgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Anesthesiology, Urgent Medicine and many more). Discover detailed information about each department specialty, methods, and procedures including the cases of patients the mentoring teams care for.

Get familiar with the mentors you' ll shadow. You can read why they became healthcare professionals, what do they love the most about their specialty and mainly what can you see while observing their everyday work on our website. Before you arrive we will help you to get ready for your placement with exclusive study materials related to each of the specialties.

Come and join us to shadow dedicated healthcare professionals - doctors, nurses, paramedics, physical therapists, and others.



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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience for Aspiring Health Care Professionals

As a high school student in the US who is interested in medicine, it was a rare and amazing opportunity to shadow doctors in the Children's Heart Center and Obstetric and Gynecology departments with the CHP program. While I was nervous at first, Barbora the program manager was so kind and helped me feel comfortable and prepared for the program. During the 2 weeks I was mentored by amazing doctors and got to be in OR almost every day. In the Children's Heart Center I worked in the catheterization lab where I saw heart biopsies, the insertion of ports for oncology patients, and an ablation. Andrea my mentor was so kind to me, and in between surgeries we would sit in the break room, drink tea, and talk. As only a high school student, my medical knowledge is limited, but Andrea always took the time to explain everything that was happening so that I understood. When she was conducting an ablation, she allowed me to place the electrodes on the patient! In Obstetrics and Gynecology, I got to see one vaginal birth and many c-sections. I even got to see a hysterectomy and laparoscopic surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy. The accommodation was wonderful and in a super convenient part of Prague so it was super easy to explore the city after my shift! We made our own breakfast in the morning and ate lunch at the hospital, but every night we got to eat dinner at a really nice restaurant so we were fed well! I went to the program with a friend from school but while I was there I made many new friends and we explored Prague together. Overall CHP was a wonderful program where I learned so much and had so much fun.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
It was amazing to see a hysterectomy. I got to stand right above surgeons in the operating room (on a stool cause I'm short) and see into a woman's abdomen. This particular patient was obese and so the procedure was more difficult. I was amazed by the amount of fat that covered her intestines. The surgeons did an amazing job and it was an amazing privilege to see them work.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Children's Heart Center

Placement in the Children's Heart Center was amazing because I got to see so much during the course of a week, and working with children is always very fun! It was great because my mentors were really excited to teach me about their work, trying to keep me engaged by describing in detail their work. Additionally, their coworkers (other surgeons, doctors, nurses, and bio-engineers) also welcomed me and tried to explain everything they were seeing. You can really tell the department is close and excited to help children. There was a breadth to what I saw, including seeing characterizations, surgeries, and the ICU. I really enjoyed being able to see the entire process a patient goes through, from the surgery all the way to being discharged and healthy!

What would you improve about this program?
It would be great to have more time with the mentors.
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Yes, I recommend this program

One word - BRILLIANT!

Amazing and mind blowing experience that I would recommend to anyone who wish to see the reality of cardiovascular surgery for himself. The second week I was shadowing the team in Cath lab, the mentoring team is really fabulous! Everyone was so welcoming, especially Barbora, the program manager. She was still on the phone in case something goes wrong. Czech Republic is a nice place, definitely worth visit!

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Yes, I recommend this program

professional service, a choice i won't regret

I did a 2 week program with CHP in July 2016 for a supplementary experience for my medical school application in UK. I compared a few different programs, but CHP really gives me a feeling of professionalism. The program takes place in a large, modern hospital in the centre of Prague, doctors are very friendly and I was treated like a medical student in specialty training. Accomodation is very nice and quiet, easy to travel around the city and to the hospital. There is really nothing to blame and i had a delightful and inspiring two weeks!

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Yes, I recommend this program

A great opportunity for young students - future healthcare professionals

I helped with the launch of the Czech Hospital Placements Program, and I will do my best to ensure that the entire process of student placement in our teaching hospital goes as smoothly as possible. I believe that the CHP Program is a great opportunity for both students and mentors. Students who want to get familiar with their future profession will see real professionals in action as well as the everyday realities of having a job in a hospital environment. This experience will surely help them in choosing the right field or specialty. Mentors, who once were students themselves, can share the details of their everyday work in a prestigious hospital. They can explain to students the personal fulfillment they feel as healthcare professionals and show them how important the decision between the various specialties is. This sharing of experiences and personal bonds among experienced professionals and promising young students will consequently bring benefits to our patients in the form of improved treatment and quality of care.
- MUDr. Otakar Buda, Head of the Quality Control Department at University Hospital in Motol, Doctor in the ER for Adults


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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Barbora Vagnerova

Job Title
Owner, CHP Program Manager
Barbora Vagnerova

Barbora knows very well how crucial and open-minding the right study-abroad experience can be. She left her country to study, work and live in France, Italy, Austria, and the US. Ten years later she started her own company that united her love for education and healthcare and launched the Czech Hospital Placements Program. The motto of the CHP Program is "Love what you do with every heartbeat", which represents that, to help others, finding passion and perseverance in their profession is one of Barbora's ultimate life goals.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I love the unpredictability of travel. One of my most intense memories dates back to the time when I was a teenager and decided to go to France to learn the language because I wanted to study philology.

I organized all around my one year trip including visas, found a school and started to live in a French family among people I have never met before in the French countryside. During that time, I have met great, generous people and also came across moments where I needed to solve all just by myself without anybody having my back.

Not even a month after my arrival, I was on my way home from school and the area our train usually went was utterly flooded and, as it came out, not for one but several days. I studied in a different city than where I lived, having nowhere to stay for the night. I didn't have any close friends there, and the French family didn't help me. I couldn't call home because my mom would be scared because of that and I didn't want to give up.

And what's more, at that time my level of knowledge of the language was way far from excellent. But my schoolmates generously offered me to spent the night on their couch, which became half of the week. I had just no place to go, having even not enough cash with me. So basically unknown people became my friends with whom I am in touch ever since.

That is also why I know how important it is to ensure for my students that there is always somebody from our team to help and assist them in Prague, no matter what the situation is, so they can feel secure and supported by our team 24/7. Their parents have my number and can call anytime; security is our priority.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

My close friends would probably say I haven't changed much in terms of values, but I do feel I am more reliable and serious while dealing with issues. It is a continuous process. I am the owner of the company, but I am also the CHP Program Manager, which means I am here for students every day in the hospital. And I honestly love this. Every student is different in personality and professional goals, as well as our almost 80 mentors - doctors, nurses, paramedics, biomedical technicians, and engineers or physical therapists that I meet on a daily bases to ensure all works well. I love the hospital environment, and I am happy to be frequently in the ORs and diagnostic departments to write about the fantastic job Czech healthcare professionals do.

With the decision to become an entrepreneur, a great deal of responsibility and stress became a part of my life too. I am more mature and more humble as, although I gained a lot of knowledge and skills throughout the years, there is so much more to learn and so much more to explore every single day. The stress relief to me is music. I became a part of an amazing jazz band, and our concerts are sort of meditation to me.

Besides, there is a great story behind every student here; we work quite extensively to know precisely the expectations and personal goals of each student before he or she arrives in Prague. And the motivation of the young people coming is of great importance to us. And it is just amazing to see the change in such a short time of weeks or months in them, too.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

There are so many of them, but I had recently this nice call once driving from work. It was a mother of one of our Alumni students who left a week before. I knew that the student found her passion in the Otorhinolaryngology specialty and Head and Neck Surgery here as we talked about it a bunch of times. And her mom told me:

"So my daughter has only this one wish for her Bday. When I asked whether we can help with it anyhow, she said to me that she would like to come again to take part in the CHP Program".

I replied that it is, of course, possible and asked her whether they already talked about when she would like to arrive to hold her the spot in the ENT specialty. I supposed it would be the next summer. And the mom replied, laughing, that her daughter would like to come again in a few weeks. I was happy and genuinely surprised, so I wanted to share this moment with the ENT mentoring team. I called doctor Jan straight away to check if it would be OK for them to have there the same student for two weeks. They were so pleased that they said yes without any hesitation. It is one of the moments when you realize you are doing your work the right way.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

That is a difficult one. It would depend on my current situation as a student - whether I have no experience being a pre-med or pre-nursing student, or whether I graduated already and knew which specialties I want to focus on. If I were a pre-medical student, I would probably pick multiple specialties with the right balance between the focus on pediatrics and adult patients, surgical and non-surgical specialties and diagnostic ones, too. I would go for instance for the ENT and Head and Neck Surgery Specialized Center because of their wide area of interest and super-specialized focus such as on skull base surgery. Then I would pick the Otorhinolaryngology for Children because the team is as well amazing and so skilled and I would want to have a good comparison on how much the approach in pediatric and adult patients differs in one specialty.

I would choose a diagnostic field to have an advantage in anatomy and case studies such as Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging where our mentoring team focuses on both - children and adults in the University Hospital in Motol. Or the Nuclear Medicine, which I found personally so exciting for people who are into physics and science.

I probably could not miss the Obstetrics and Gynecology in my preferences as most of the healthcare professionals say that to witness the natural birth is the most magical moment in medicine and the team comes across so many different cases where they must cooperate with other specialists, e.g., from the Children Heart Center.

And apart from that that I would choose an internal medicine specialty - Infectious Diseases Department - as they take care of a variety of cases and I would like to have a comparison between the surgical specialties and a field where being able to make the right diagnoses is crucial.

And then I would do the ER... and well, basically all the specialties. To me it is almost impossible to choose as when you know the mentoring teams personally, and the excellent work, treatment, methods and procedures they do, you realize how interconnected the specialties are. And you want to absorb all the knowledge possible. That is why I am so happy to be in the hospital environment and organize the Tutorials and Excursions weekly for our students to extend their views and knowledge on so many topics, case studies, and skills!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

In my opinion, what makes us different is the way we think about education and experiential learning. I spent quite some years in education by asking students about their needs, motivation and why specifically their expectations were not met in the study programs they took part in.

That is why I created the CHP Program, where we focus on students' interests and preferences while helping them to be truly ready for the experience in a real clinical environment on such a high level as the one of the University Hospital in Motol.

I want our students to know the maximum even before they apply for the specialty, departments and specialized centers, typical patient cases, procedures and treatment methods, and, last but not least, about the most important people in their placement - their mentors. Only then they can choose well what really fits them as a specialty field. When you know what the daily tasks of your mentoring team are, you have a solid idea on what to expect and motivation to study to be ready for it.

What's more, we have students from all around the world with a different educational background who can be in the last year at high school or studying medicine in the 5th year. That is why we do mostly individual shadowing and why we prepared an essential knowledge base concerning every single specialty as our study materials and also much more on how to behave in a country-specific professional environment in the biggest hospital in Central Europe. With that goes hand in hand our approach to specialty shadowing - one student shadowing one mentor. The mentor can adjust to the level of knowledge of the student who is interested in his/her specialty and in what the mentor explains. Our students have the full attention of their mentors, too. I don't believe in shadowing in a group of people with a different background. Sometimes an introvert you can hardly get the most out of the placement in comparison to your extrovert peers. That is not rear in the group of people.

Another part of the job is being present in the hospital all the time and be ready to help students, organize their activities and also be here for the mentors whenever there is an unpredictable issue. I know all the people who take part in the CHP Program personally, I selected them, and I meet them on a regular basis to ensure all goes smoothly. That means we give our students relevant information, they are safe with us and, as the owner, I make personally sure that all goes the best way possible receiving feedback directly from the students. That means to me also an excellent input for our plans.

To be honest, to see that the idea behind the CHP Program works makes me proud of what we achieved with my team quite often. As we've overcome so many obstacles and hard work to make it all run. We intensively work with the feedback from the Alumni students to make sure that we do improve all the time. I am not the type of an owner who would step aside from being in touch with our customers thinking that what I did is enough and there is nothing else that could be better. I am happy to pick up the students at the airport or do a tour around Prague with them like everybody else in the team. And that way the team spirit and shared responsibility is natural to all of us.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Personal qualities of people in the company - honesty, decisiveness, ability to accept failures and to learn from them. Honesty that you cannot do all. That you necessarily don't do a specific task better way than any other member of your team. That you fail, epically from time to time, but you need to take responsibility for being accountable for the decisions you made. That you can look at the failure go through what happened step by step putting aside your ego and make sure you won't repeat it. I hope that with this attitude you can attract the right kind of people around you who stick with you in tough times and who genuinely help when you need it the most. And I believe that these qualities are crucial in the area of education.