The Ambassador Milton Wolf Seminar on Media and Diplomacy is a collaboration between the Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS) at Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Pennsylvania, The Diplomatic Academy Vienna and the American Austrian Foundation. This year's program was entitled "The Paris Effect: Journalism, Diplomacy, and Information Controls", and took place April 4 - 6, 2016 at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.

The seminar revolves around a series of panels led by experts from the worlds of journalism, diplomacy, NGO's and business. The "students" are graduate and PhD candidates and come from US and European universities and the Diplomatic Academy. In addition to discussing the impact of the Paris attacks and the current tension between freedom of the press and the need for security, the refugee crisis and the anniversary of Sykes Picot were discussed. Robin Wright of the New Yorker, Adam Nossiter of the New York Times, Ambassador Daniel Baer and Joan Barata of the OSCE were among the impressive roster of speakers. Monroe Price, director of CGCS and Amelia Arsenault were the chief architects of the seminar. US Deputy Chief of Mission, Eugene Young hosted a dinner at his residence and the last evening the group went to a typical Viennese heurigen. Students published blog posts, which can be found here: http://www.global.asc.upenn.edu/events/the-paris-effect-journalism-diplomacy-and-information-controls/

We thank our supporters: The Wolf Family Foundation, the academic partner institutions, the US Embassy in Vienna and the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy.
Emerging Scholars
Emerging Scholars


The current refugee crisis is one whose severity warrants a great deal of discussion and consideration, whose effects will long be felt, and is likely to be remembered for decades to come even after a resolution has been achieved. The Migrant and Minority Health seminar at Schloß Arenberg on April 3 - 9, 2016 provided an important step towards a solution, where expert faculty, guest lecturers, and fellows from relevant areas of public and social health gathered around a common cause to share knowledge and seek improvement to areas which would be most beneficial in fighting the plight of many. Initial talks were presented by representatives from the European Union and the World Health Organization, firmly directing the tone of the seminar towards global solutions to these issues, both present and future, and drawing on issues of migrant and minority experience ranging from the United States, Russia, and India, among others.

In addition to the great number of illuminating lectures presented by faculty, the group also spent a total of four and a half hours in smaller discussion groups, further expanding on the topics at hand, and giving each participant a chance to voice their ideas and opinions, providing an environment ripe for debate. The incredible group of faculty, lecturers, and organizers who helped to facilitate the discussion throughout the week included Robert Otok, Jonathan Cohen, and Sarabeth Harrelson, and Drs. Wolfgang Aulitzky, Bernd Rechel, Mark R. D. Johnson, Course Director T.H. Tulchinsky, Dawn Davis, Seth Holmes, Sviatoslav Plavinski, Anita Villerusa, and Laurent Chambaud.

Participating fellows Tina Bregant, MD, PhD and Milena Santric Milicevic, MD, MSc, PhD discussed their experiences throughout the week in the form of daily diary entries.


The AAF welcomed 26 American 4th year medical students for a one month clinical clerkship at the Medical University of Vienna during February, March and April, 2016. In addition to daily clinical work we offered the students a weekly German class, a tour through the medical museum Josephinum and the Society of Physicians in Vienna, a city tour and a Lecture on the Austrian health care system. They met with physicians from Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia nd the former Soviet Union (OMI Observers in Vienna for one month clinical observerships) and in their free time they explored Vienna, Austria and the neighboring countries.

This program is jointly funded by the Max Kade Foundation and the AAF. We are proud to announce that we are celebrating our 20th anniversary. To date we have invited over 440 American medical students to Austria.

The February group 2016 sent us the following thank you:
"Hailing from George Washington University in Washington, DC, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, Cornell University in New York, NY, Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, and the University of Texas at Houston in Houston, TX, we all want to thank you for an incredibly unforgettable month in Vienna, Austria. We rotated through various specialties including, Neurology, Dermatology, Cardiology, and OB/GYN. We were immersed in a unique health care system. We were exposed to similar, yet at times differing, medical and social problems which we see in the American healthcare system as well. One student had this to say, "Taking part in the Max Kade Fellowship was one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life. Every day I had the chance to learn from the most distinguished physicians in Vienna, not just about patient care, but about the cultural aspects of medicine." This program empowered our group to become culturally aware and competent future physicians. It was also so fun to be able to learn some German along the way and be able to hold a simple conversation. We are incredibly humbled and thankful for this experience!"
Max Kade medical students in Vienna
Max Kade medical students in Vienna


"Karibu" means welcome!

For three months (from January until March 2016), we had the opportunity to be a part of the dedicated Obstetrics and Gynecology team at the Weill Bugando Medical Center, where we received insight into the medical care in Tanzania. This tertiary hospital cares for patients from within a service area composed of six regions, which in total is home to 13 million people, and is supported by Weill Cornell University, New York, as well as the American Austrian Foundation (AAF). With a friendly "Karibu", we were warmly welcomed and integrated into the medical team from the very beginning, in particular by Dr. Anthony Massinde, who we got to know through an AAF sponsored observership in Vienna. At his request, we brought instruments with us to build a laparoscopic unit, which we also used immediately. We were particularly impressed by the significance of the teaching and training, from the Morning Reports on ward rounds with students to the mortality meetings on maternal deaths, to which we felt we were able to contribute. Through the clinics, we indeed not only medically, but also personally, reached our limits. The patients often only presented themselves for the first time once they had already reached the late stages of a disease - particularly in oncology - so treatment options were limited.

Furthermore, we found again and again a lack of even the most basic of equipment and medicines, and that the patients could often not pay for treatments, and must therefore wait until relatives could bring sufficient money. One area in which we could learn quite a lot was the operative care of vesicovaginal fistulas, which were carried out free of charge in Bugando as a specialized hospital. The university's official language is English, but despite this, we required "Kiswahili" consultation hours to communicate with the patients. Kiswahili is an easy to learn, musical language, through which we were also able to gain additional insight into the culture. We were also involved in a weeklong outreach project, during which we volunteered to carry out cervical cancer screenings on an island, which was a great help. Music is an essential component of everyday life, and after we mastered eating food without utensils despite initial difficulties, we joined in the local dances under critical observation by our local colleagues, as the "Muzungus" - the whites - are considered very untalented dancers. We also learned here to jump over our shadows, and after three months, it has become very difficult say our goodbyes. On one hand, we say farewell to medicine which is very closely tied to the patients but away from many modern possibilities and from bureaucracy, but on the other hand, we must say farewell to our many colleagues who have so warmly welcomed us and allowed us to have a view into their culture.

We thank the AAF for its support of this project, and we hope continued support will be made possible in the sense of long-term cooperation with our colleagues in Mwanza, and that hopefully we will soon have the opportunity to welcome one of these motivated colleagues to join us.

Stephanie Aust, M.D. and Petra Pateisky, M.D.
Resident Physician at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Vienna, General Hospital of Vienna
Entrance to the Weill Bugando Medical Center
Entrance to the Weill Bugando Medical Center


For the second time The American Austrian Foundation conducted a series of annual symposia entitled "Vienna City of Science" as part of the" Dean's Distinguished Lectures" at Weill Cornell Medical College.

This year's symposium took place on February 19th, 2016 featuring the topic "Neuroscience: At the Cutting Edge of Discovery and Translation". The second event of the lecture series was hosted by Laurie H. Glimcher, Stephen and Suzanne T Weiss, Dean Weill Cornell Medical College and was supported by the American Austrian Foundation and the Vienna Science and Technology Fund. More details about the speakers and lectures can be found here.
Professors Wolfgang Aulitzky, Eric Kandel, Josef Penninger
l-r: Professors Wolfgang Aulitzky, Eric Kandel, Josef Penninger


Dr. Michael Sein, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, visited on January 26 - 27 Baku for a Visiting Professorship in Rehabilitation Medicine before joining the Faculty at this year's Rehabilitation Medicine OMI Seminar in Salzburg.

Dr. Sein was invited by Rahima Gabulova, an OMI Alumni, who has attended 4 OMI Seminars as well as an Observership and who has been very active in organizing satellite symposia and visiting professorships in Baku (Cardiology 2009, Maternal & Infant Health 2014, and Diabetes 2015) as well as promoting evidence based medicine among her colleagues and students.

The Visiting Professorship took place at the Azerbaijan Medical University and included lectures on Back and Shoulder Pain, Epidural Steroid Injections and Interventional Management of Lumbar Facet Arthropathy as well as case presentations by local doctors and a round table discussion with international faculty and experts from the region.

During Dr. Sein's trip to Baku, he also visited the Rehabilitation Center at the Surgical Hospital where he conducted a workshop and demonstrated an examination of the shoulder and corticosteroid injections.The Visiting Professorship was very well received. A total of 56 doctors and residents attended the lectures and workshops, most of them from the Medical University Clinics in Baku.
Visiting Professorship in Baku
Dr. Michael Sein during the round table discussion on "Lower Back Pain"


On May 7, 2016 the first Zagreb ENDOSCOPIC SKULL BASE SYMPOSIUM - took place at the University Hospital Centre Zagreb (KBC Zagreb) in Zagreb, Croatia. The symposium was co-organized by the Open Medical Institute, the Department of Ear, Nose and Throat and Head and Neck Surgery, KBC Zagreb and the Croatian Skull Base Society.

Dr. Cem Meco, a faculty member of the Salzburg Weill Cornell Seminars in Otolaryngology and Temporal Bone Surgery was the visiting professor. Drago Prgomet (Head of Department of Ear, Nose and Throat and Head and Neck Surgery, KBC Zagreb) and Prim. Ante Melada (Secretary of Croatian Skull Base Society) welcomed international and local faculty, OMI fellows and the participants of the symposium. Nika Hecej, OMI Local Coordinator presented the Open Medical Institute and Salzburg Medical Seminars.

Dr. Cem Meco, ENT surgeon, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Ankara University Medical School lectured on "A Modern Concept in CSF Diagnosis and Management". Dr. Bostjan Lanisnik, ENT surgeon in Department for ENT Maxilofacial Surgery, University Medical Center Maribor held his lecture on "Reconstruction of skull base defects: from olfactory fossa to clivus". After a short break Professor Cem Meco continued with "Endonasal Endoscopic Skull Base Approaches". The last lecture "Orbital Exenteration, when, why and how?" was held by Martin Jurlina, ENT and maxillofacial surgeon at the Department of Ear, Nose and Throat and Head and Neck Surgery, KBC Zagreb. After a lunch break three fellows presented six interesting cases that were commented on and discussed by the speakers and participants.

This symposium offered a lot of interactive discussions between the faculty and the participants. The feedback from the participants was very positive. The interaction between the international and local faculty strengthened the cooperation between the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Ankara University Medical School and Department of Ear, Nose and Throat and Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Center Zagreb. The plan is to sign the ERASAMUS contract between the departments for trainee exchange. 65 doctors participated in the lectures.
Visiting Professorship in Zagreb
l-r: Dr. Marcel Marjanovic Kavanagh (Department of Ear, Nose and Throat and Head and Neck Surgery), Dr. Martin Jurlina (Department of Ear, Nose and Throat and Head and Neck Surgery), Prof. Dr. Cem Meco (Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Ankara University Medical School, Bostjan Lanisnik, Department for ENT Maxilofacial Surgery, University Medical Center, Maribor, Slovenia)


SALZBURG CHOP SEMINAR: Pediatric Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine
SALZBURG OMI SEMINAR: Palliative Care for Physicians in Easter Europe
SALZBURG OMI SEMINAR: Developing Community Mental Health: Global Perspectives
SALZBURG OMI SEMINAR: Migrant & Minority Health
SALZBURG CHOP SEMINAR: Pediatric Gastroenterology
SALZBURG WEILL CORNELL SEMINAR: Oncology A: Breast & Gynecologic Cancers
To stop receiving The AAF Newsletter please visit: http://www.aaf-online.org/newsletter.html