Creativity, diligence, persistence – three characteristics that have always played a key role in my life and career. I feel in luck to have grown up and participated in communities that gave me everything I later needed to look at my profession either as work or fun or passion or relaxation or even as the most difficult challenge, depending on what it may bring.
It was clear to me, right at the beginning of my high school years that it would be dentistry for which (after a brief period of compulsory military service) I would be ready to make big sacrifices. I was already a dental student at Semmelweis University when I came to realize that I wanted to choose the specialty that takes the most… creativity, diligence and persistence! I spent my orthodontics resident years at the Orthodontics and Maxillofacial Orthopedics Unit of the Heim Pál Pediatric Hospital, which was the most renowned site of treatment and education at the time. In parallel, work in my private office, which I ran together with my wife, taught me that without all the safety that a hospital means, one faces much greater professional challenges. Finally, I ended up with degrees in three specialties, so I could start my PhD studies. This was an entirely new experience and I immediately felt that the wish to explore the unknown would be with me forever. My university career required that I got involved in undergraduate and postgraduate education as well, so I accepted the invitation to be the head of department of the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Szeged. During the 8 years I spent in this position, I held both theoretical and practical undergraduate courses, participated in the training of residents and also had the chance to contribute to a new dental curriculum. Well-spent as these years were, the mentioned activities left little time for research – the reason why I originally started a university career. This changed when I transferred to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged. Here I funded the Craniofacial Center, of which I am also the head. The center specializes in orthognathic and cleft palate/lip treatment, provides postgraduate training and offers PhD research topics. At the same time, I have been the president of the only non-Budapest-based orthodontics examination board in Hungary for five years, by appointment of the National Committee of Specialty Examinations.
I firmly believe in the importance of ongoing professional self-improvement, and it is for this reason that I never miss an opportunity to enhance my knowledge. I have visited several places of education in the world to lecture and to study. To widen our perspective is just as important in one’s profession as in the everyday life. It is in this spirit that my wife and I keep travelling around the globe, pushing our limits (sometimes to the extreme, in our studies and in sports as well) and never stop improving ourselves.