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Prvačina
The idea of organising a meetup of the "first medical nonet" has long been brewing in Prvačina. The doctors are Alojz Zorn, Branko Zorn, Ljubo Koršič, Vlasta Gregorič, Igor Gregorič, Silvan Saksida, Igor Koršič, Jasna Humar and Irena Žorž. Photo: David Verlič
Prvačina
The president of the Prvačina local community, Nives Černe, said that they first wanted to make a smaller, more locally coloured meeting of doctors and locals. The idea grew into a big event, attended by the President of the Republic Borut Pahor and the President of the Medical Chamber Zdenka Čebašek - Travnik. Photo: David Verlič

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Prvačina: village with the most doctors

1,200 inhabitants, a nonet of doctors
11. March 2018 ob 13:40
Prvačina - MMC RTV SLO

The village of Prvačina in the lower Vipava Valley counts 1,200 souls – yet no fewer than nine doctors come from there. They do not work in their village outpatient clinic, but in hospitals in Slovenia and abroad.

Considering that there are statistically approximately 2.5 doctors per thousand inhabitants, Prvačina is definitely a statistical outlier with nine doctors. Although they are from the same village, this "medical nonet" has never been in the same room together.

The idea of organising a meetup of the "first medical nonet" has long been brewing in Prvačina. The doctors are Alojz Zorn, Branko Zorn, Ljubo Koršič, Vlasta Gregorič, Igor Gregorič, Silvan Saksida, Igor Koršič, Jasna Humar and Irena Žorž. They also have a progeny: Borut Furlani decided to study medicine. He enrolled at the medical faculty in Ljubljana as a diamond high school graduate and thus promises that the noble medical tradition of the place will continue. "Not only for a nonet, there will soon be enough doctors in our village for a soccer team," someone from the audience said in the packed hall where the gathering took place.

Bringing all nine together was not easy
The president of the Prvačina local community, Nives Černe, said that they first wanted to make a smaller, more locally coloured meeting of doctors and locals. The idea grew into a big event, attended by the President of the Republic Borut Pahor and the President of the Medical Chamber Zdenka Čebašek - Travnik. The Minister of Health, Milojka Kolar Celarc, was also invited, but she apologised for not attending due to illness.

Being a doctor is a mission
It was interesting to hear, who or what prompted them to become doctors. Vlasta Gregorič, a specialist in gynaecology and obstetrics, who worked for a long time in the Šempeter maternity hospital, and for several years before her retirement in public and private outpatient practice, said: "As a teenager, I had to go to the hospital for appendectomy. I was surrounded by handsome male doctors, true Apollos. And I decided I wanted to be as close to them as possible. What better way than to become a doctor myself, and so I jointed the 'white gowns'."

Ljubo Koršič, a specialist at the Department of Urology at the Slovenj Gradec General Hospital, does not have pleasant memories of his first encounter with hospitals: "As a teenager I broke my leg and needed surgery. I got screws in my leg, I lay in an old hospital room packed with patients. It smelled all around them, it stank, the old iron beds were creaking, people screamed ... A horrible experience ... Perhaps I was drawn medicine for my desire to change all this."

Only a few remained in their native valley
Most of the nine doctors and doctors continued their careers throughout Slovenia and abroad. Only a few remained in the birthplace of Vipava. The eldest among them, Alojz Zorn, a retired otorhinolaryngologist, worked at the Izola General Hospital: "I built my professional career elsewhere, but I always enjoy returning to Prvačina, among my people."

After specializing in anaesthesiology, Igor Koršič was employed as a general practitioner in Ljubljana: "Most young doctors decided to work in a professional specialization, but after finishing my specialization I decided to return to primary health care. We know that there are not enough general and family doctors, but it seems to me that the first contact with the patient is the most important!"

Jasna Humar, specialist in general surgery and head of the Department of General and Abdominal Surgery at the Slovenj Gradec General Hospital, moved to the region of Koroška for work: "When I finished my studies, there was no job opportunity at home. I moved to where I was offered work, in Slovenj Gradec. I settled well, I progressed, and I feel great there."

Silvan Saksida, an internist, closely linked his career with the local hospital in Šempeter, where he took several leading positions, including the director of the hospital: "I always wanted to work in the local environment. That's why I also decided on this profession. To help local people, my people." Irena Žorž, a specialist in gynaecology and obstetrics, also works at the Šempeter hospital. Dr. Branko Zorn passes on his outstanding knowledge to medical students in Ljubljana. He is extremely satisfied with the students: "I'm not afraid of where the medicine will go in Slovenia. The core of our medicine is good!" Zorn is an andrologist, a specialist in male infertility, and is employed at the Gynecology Clinic of the Ljubljana University Medical Centre.

Prvačina's surgeon in the USA
Among the nine is Professor Dr. Igor Gregorič, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon working in Texas and Houston, United States of America, and a Honorary Doctor of the University of Nova Gorica: "I've been across the Pond for thirty years now, but my heart is pulling me back ‘to the mountain paradise’, as our poet Simon Gregorčič said. I will definitely return to Slovenia and continue my professional career. Whether in a year, three years or five years, I cannot tell you for certain when today, but my goal is my home country."

Mojca Dumančič, Televizija Slovenija; translated by K. Z.
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