INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
STUDY VISIT TO GERMANY
Ten Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders, who are in their final year of medical, pharmaceutical, technology and metallurgy studies went on a study visit to Germany in the period from October 28th to November 1st, 2019.



The study trip to Germany is a part of the Internship Program aimed at supporting young, future healthcare professionals to gain practical knowledge and work experience in various sectors within Hemofarm, a member of the German STADA Group.

It is a unique opportunity for such young people to learn about corporate culture, business processes, and practical work in order to apply the gained knowledge and experience in their professional work in Hemofarm or healthcare institutions in Serbia, in accordance with their work preferences.

Internship program takes place in Serbia and Germany - through a three-week internship in Hemofarm and a study tour aimed at introducing scholarship holders with the German healthcare system, public health policies, similarities and differences in the healthcare systems of Serbia and Germany, scientific diplomacy, as well as learning about the political, social and cultural values of the relevant country. The program additionally fosters knowledge and skills of future healthcare experts, encouraging them to be active in the community, and further boosts the bilateral and economic relations between Serbia and Germany.

During their study visit to Germany, Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders visited and had lectures in one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Germany – STADA Group, Angela Merkel's Office, German Parliament – Bundestag, Federal Ministry of Health, Goethe University and Clinic, National Academy of Sciences – Leopoldina, and Charité Museum of Medical History Berlin.

YOU CAN DO IT program for education has been supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Serbia, as well as faculties of medicine, pharmacy, technology and metallurgy, chemistry and physical chemistry of the Universities of Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Niš. Parts of the program are implemented in partnership with the German International Cooperation Organization GIZ and Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The program has also been supported by company Air Serbia .
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FIRST DAY – VISIT TO STADA GROUP, BAD VILBEL
’In addition to knowledge and skills, it is even more important to maintain good interpersonal relationships and be a part of the team to succeed in business’

The first day of the study tour was marked by a visit to the German STADA Group and lectures on ’Good communication - key to success’ and ’Agility, integrity, entrepreneurship - key to successful business’ held by STADA Group Global Communications Director, Frank Staud, and CEO of Hemofarm, Ronald Seeliger, who emphasized that ’the health issue is presently one of the most important issues which we have to work on jointly in order to meet the challenges ahead of us and provide equal healthcare for all’. Frank Staud spoke specifically about communication as the basis of a successful business, as well as his career about which he said that ’in addition to success, it also had serious challenges - ups and downs, but the most important thing was to be persistent and not give up in the face of difficulties.’
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Ronald Seeliger spoke to scholarship holders about STADA Group values - agility, integrity, entrepreneurship because they, as he said, support company's vision and shape the corporate culture. ’Values are the basis of work for every company; they are the basis of its identity and business philosophy’, Seeliger emphasized, adding that ’the values also represent the ethics of company's operations and therefore, it is important to live and apply them on a daily basis’. Both Staud and Seeliger agreed that ’perseverance and persistence are the key to success in life, and in addition to knowledge and skills, it is even more important to maintain good interpersonal relationships and be a part of the team in order to succeed in business’. After the lectures, Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders visited the plant in Bad Vilbel and learned about the work of the production division as well as control laboratories. Upon comparing the Bad Vilbel plant to Hemofarm plant in Vršac where scholarship holders had a three-week internship, they have concluded that Hemofarm is setting an example in many segments and expressed their enthusiasm about the fact that ’they can work in the industry that meets all European standards also in their country’.
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SECOND DAY – VISIT TO GOETHE UNIVERSITY AND CLINIC, FRANKFURT
’The important role of pharmacists within the German healthcare system’

The second day of the study tour was scheduled for visiting the Goethe University Clinic and attending the lecture of Prof. Dr. Marjan van den Akker, Head of Polypharmacy and Care Research Working Group, about comorbidity - the presence of one or more additional conditions co-occurring with a primary condition, and polypharmacy - concurrent use of multiple medications. Polypharmacy is an increasingly common problem, which appears with aging of the population and very often leads to comorbidity and, in particular cases, to mortality of persons who use multiple medications, which may have fatal outcome due to mutual drug-drug and/or drug-disease interactions. In order to prevent such a situation, doctors should prescribe as many medications as necessary to cure the disease, taking into account the medical history, and patients, especially elderly patients, should avoid taking medications on their own, i.e. without consulting a doctor.
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Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders were particularly interested in the role of clinical pharmacists in the German healthcare system, as well as collaboration of primary care pharmacists with physicians, and the reporting of adverse drug reactions. Prof. Dr. van den Akker emphasized "the importance of clinical pharmacists within the German healthcare system as well as their role in the field of polypharmacy’, indicating that ’pharmacists are a part of medical teams in Germany’.
The second lecture was held by Prof. Dr. Amparo Acker-Palmer, Head of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology Department at the Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences in Frankfurt, and winner of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation Prize for Young Researchers. She spoke to Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders about her personal and professional development and presented researches and results in the field of the development of blood vessels and nerves as well as the laboratory where she works and stated that ’the key to success is to maintain motivation, because satisfaction after achieved results is greater than all problems and difficulties we face on a daily basis’.
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THIRD DAY – VISIT TO THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES – LEOPOLDINA, HALLE
’Science must be engaged without losing its autonomy’

As a part of the study visit to Germany, Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders also visited the National Academy of Sciences – Leopoldina, hosted by Lucian Brujan, Senior Scientific Officer in the Department of International Relations, who spoke on the topic of ’activities in the field of scientific diplomacy’. Brujan said that scientists always talked and worked together regardless of boundaries and systems and indicated that science can help rebuild confidence. ’We can build trust only by true exchange, and we can change things only if we have trust’, Brujan specified, pointing out that ’scientific diplomacy can contribute to improving bilateral relations in the Balkans and young people play an important role in that process aiming at lasting peace, stability and respecting diversity’.
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’The promising path to success leads through education, innovativeness of the young generation, and continuous scientific exchange’, Brujan said, adding that ’science must be engaged without losing its autonomy’. Talking about scientific diplomacy, Brujan said that official policy in Germany often consults the National Academy of Sciences when it comes to important state and social issues of particular interest to the state and nation, and told the assembled Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders that ’whatever you do in your life, you must stay with both feet on the ground, be authentic, and never give up on your dreams’. Brujan also presented a solution to the brain drain in Southeast Europe through the launch of the Western Balkans Research Foundation, which as he said, would enable young scientists to be involved in science and innovations in the territory of Southeast Europe.
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FOURTH DAY – VISIT TO CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL’S OFFICE, GERMAN PARLIAMENT – BUNDESTAG, AND KONRAD ADENAUER FOUNDATION, BERLIN
‘Young people are the pillars of positive changes in the community’

Following the visit to the National Academy of Sciences in the city of Halle, Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders spent two days in Berlin, and visited the building that houses German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office, spoke with Alexander Jung, former Deputy Ambassador of Germany to Serbia, who presently works at the relevant institution. Scholarship holders visited Chancellor Merkel's office and talked to Jung about the political and social order of Germany as well as community activism. A part of the conversation with Jung was about the historical past of Germany, division of the country, and lessons Germany learned from that period. It has been concluded that democracy and its values are defended by activism, and that ‘socially responsible individuals, especially young people, are the pillars of positive changes in the community’.
The tour of Berlin continued with a visit and introduction to the work of the German Federal Parliament - Bundestag, in which parliamentarians are elected by the will of the people. Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders had an opportunity to talk to Jan Peter Luther, a CDU party representative, about the parliamentary life in Germany, and spent three and a half hours visiting the Bundestag and Reichstag.
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The scholarship holders were mostly impressed by the symbolism of the Reichstag glass dome with the Debating Chamber of the Bundestag below, symbolizing the new Germany and new capital, and conveying the message to parliamentarians that they are always below and under the watchful eye of the people, as visitors to this edifice literally ’walk’ over their heads.
Impressions of this day were conveyed by Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holder, Anđela Postolović, who rated the visits to Angela Merkel’s office, Bundestag, Reichstag, and Konrad Adenauer Foundation as a ’fantastic experience’ in her Diary. ’The conversation at Konrad Adenauer Foundation on activism followed by the visit to Angela Merkel's office, Bundestag, the whole day has left an impression that is difficult to describe. It was amazing to see and hear all about these institutions, learn about the state order of Germany, become more familiar with the history and art, and review the impact of particular epochs on the political situation in this country’, Anđela Postolović said.
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FIFTH DAY – VISIT TO THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND CHARITÉ MUSEUM OF MEDICAL HISTORY BERLIN
’The German healthcare system lacks doctors in rural communities.’

Internship program study visit to Germany ended with a visit to the Federal Ministry of Health and tour of the Charité Museum of Medical History Berlin. In the discussion with scholarship holders, the representative of the Ministry of Health, Hannah Bruehl, presented the functioning of the healthcare system in Germany, with special reference to the regulations governing the release of medicines to the market, as well as medicines and therapies covered by health insurance. She introduced the scholarship holders also with the novelties relating to healthcare system digitalisation and said that ’the German healthcare system lacks doctors, especially in rural communities’ adding that the state is preparing a strategy to address the issue.
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During the visit to the Charité Museum of Medical History Berlin, Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders had an opportunity to learn about the development of medicine and healthcare system in Germany throughout centuries, changes in society, primarily through the situation of women, their right to education, freedom of choice, and suffrage.
During the five-day stay in Germany, Hemofarm Foundation scholarship holders had an opportunity to learn about the cultural and historical content of the country. In Frankfurt, they visited the house in which Johann Wolfgang Goethe lived and worked, which is presently a museum, then the Museum of Contemporary Art, where they had an opportunity to see an exhibition, which is a part of museum's current exhibition - Lee Krasner, an American painter, who was one of the most influential abstract expressionists. While sightseeing Berlin, in addition to visiting Chancellor Angela Merkel's office, the Bundestag, scholarship holders also visited the Brandenburg Gate, one of Berlin's landmarks on the Paris Square, and Checkpoint Charlie, a name given to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point by the Western allies during the Cold War, dividing the city into East Berlin and West Berlin.
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