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What I Learned While in Hungary
By Aimee Cholette, 4th ESLD Hands-on Laser and EBD Teaching Course participant - University of Szeged, Hungary
on 2018-02-15

I was given the incredible opportunity this past January, to have been sponsored by Dr. Ashraf Badawi, Smooth’s dermatologist and laser expert advisor, to attend an intensive training held by The European Society for Lasers and Energy Based Devices (ESLD), at the University of Szeged, Hungary.  The University of Szeged holds a prestigious ranking as one of the top internationally recognized Dermatology and Medical science schools.  It was an honor, to say the least, to have been in attendance with some spectacular doctors, as well as learning from a panel of phenomenal experts in the world of medicine, dermatology, plastic surgery and of course, lasers and energy based devices. 

From Szeged I brought home increased knowledge and awareness to my craft, making the treatments offered at Smooth so much more advanced and effective. This was to be expected, I will say, the investment was well worth the it. What I was not expecting was how open, giving and generous the clinical educators were. Not just text book theory, but the practical first-hand education the ESLD panel offered. What an extraordinary gift and lesson. These are doctors that travel the world, sharing their knowledge and their craft with everyone that is passionate about the world of laser medicine. The ESLD is a not for profit organization dedicated to ensuring those that work with lasers and energy based devices are doing their practice with the most up to date knowledge, safety and efficacy. This diverse panel share their first-hand experience and case studies, showcasing and explaining treatment successes as well as treatment failures. They not only learn lessons themselves but put their egos aside to pass on their lessons and ensure the same treatment failures aren’t duplicated by others while encouraging best practices. This is what makes a great teacher and they were ALL great. Although at times they may have differed in opinion, their approach was neutral and understanding, allowing each opinion the opportunity to be the correct one as long as it was done conscientiously and safely, with the appropriate end result. There were no egos at work here. There was no my way is better and more effective. This was a collaboration designed to lift up and improve each doctor (and in my special case, sponsored laser technician). It was a fantastic reminder that a tool is only as good as the hand that uses it, that hand is only as good as the thought that controls it, that thought is only as good as the information that feeds it, that information is only as good as the openness of the educator that passes it on and that educator is only as open, honest and giving as they allow themselves to be. For all of these lessons I cannot thank Dr. Ashraf Badawi, Dr. Hans-Joachim Laubach, Dr. Paolo Bonan, Dr. Leonardo Marini, Dr. Gabor Varju, and all the members of the ESLD enough. 

A few other tidbits about Hungary that I brought back

The city of Szeged is the third largest city in Hungary and is known for more than just it’s University and Dermatology department. Albert Szent-Györgyi, an alumnus from the University of Szeged was given a Nobel peace prize in 1937 in recognition for his work in discovering isolated Vitamin C at the beginning of the 1930s, and Vitamin P in 1936. Albert Szent-Györgyi played a major role in discovering the citrate cycle. Thank goodness for this discovery as we all know how valuable Isolated Vitamin C is for our overall health. It is these isolated C’s that are encapsulated and delivered to the active layers of our skin, creating activity and preventing degeneration of our collagen as well as encouraging the metabolism of used up pigment granules.

Szeged is also known for its famous slippers. These slippers were first introduced to Hungarians during the Turkish occupation or Hungary. They became popular in Szeged after the great flood of 1879 when the dirt roads were paved. Although they were first common footwear for the peasants, their beautiful design made them desirable as formal wear and have become a famous Szeged trademark. There are two families left who make the traditional slipper, handmade, hand embroider and made 100% leather. I was fortunate enough to have had my partner search a pair out as a gift for me after learning about them at the Szeged historical museum. They are now a beautiful part of my Smooth uniform.

I spent 4 days in Budapest. Such a historical city with significant culture. Having been occupied by the Turkish and then the Soviets, after the second world war. I had the honour and pleasure of touring the second largest Synagogues in the world (Dohan Street Synagogue), experiencing historic castles and touring the ancient Buda section of Buda - Pest. (Another thing I learnt, there is a Buda side and a Pest side, oh... and by the way “s” is pronounced SH making the correct pronunciation Budapesht). It was hard not to be in awe at all the stories Hungary has to offer. The fashion sense was classic and stunning, the food divine, architecture incredible, people absolutely lovely. This is a country that I am eager to return to and further explore hopefully again in the near future. 

Aimee Cholette
Smooth Anti-Aging and Skin Health Centre
Hamilton, Ontario

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