On Youth Education: “Just a normal day in the life of a medical student”

European Youth Insights is a platform provided by the European Youth Forum and the European Sting, to allow young people to air their views on issues that matter to them. Written by Rachel Bruls, medical student at the University of Amsterdam and Regional Assistant for Medical Education in Europe for the IFMSA

Ms. Rachel Bruls is a medical student at the University of Amsterdam and Regional Assistant for  Medical Education in Europe for the IFMSA

Ms. Rachel Bruls is a medical student at the University of Amsterdam and Regional Assistant for
Medical Education in Europe for the IFMSA

And there I found myself again, sitting in a huge lecture hall full of peers, just a normal day in the life of a medical student. All closely listening to the microbiology professor and taking notes. But hey… is that what was really going on here? Taking a closer look at what was happening; the professor talking about different types of E. Coli. At the same time I could see my fellow students reading the newspaper, checking their Facebook and whispering to each other about past weekend. Exactly, just a normal day in the life of a medical student.

We trust the students we send to med school to become omniscient doctors. These students are supposed to gain a lot of knowledge in six years; six years to know how to save lives. Fortunately, the example above is not the only way we med students get taught all that important information. We practice skills, we do role play, we have interactive sessions and in those last years of study we go to the clinics, where doctors guide us in becoming doctors ourselves.

But isn’t a doctor much more than just someone who cures people? My curriculum thinks so, and that’s why it’s based on the world famous CanMEDS model. This model says a medical expert is someone who masters six roles; professional, communicator, collaborator, manager, scholar and health advocate.

Though, sitting in my microbiology lecture, I realized one of the roles was missing. Yes, attending the lectures and learning all the medical details will make me a professional, my role play classes will teach me to be a communicator, team-based learning will help me to become a collaborator, research internships will pave the way to becoming a scholar and during the clinics I will get to know how to be a manager in healthcare. Where did the health advocate go?

This is where the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) stepped into my curriculum. Being an active member of this international organization taught me to be a health advocate. And that’s not all, it also enhanced the other roles of the CanMEDS model. IFMSA didn’t do that by giving normal lectures, they did it by something that is called non-formal education.

Non-formal education is any organized educational activity outside the established formal system – whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broader activity – that is intended to serve identifiable learning clienteles and learning objectives.

The IFMSA trains medical students in soft skills, leadership and global health. We organize exchanges around the world. We organize activities to change the face of medicine globally, nationally and locally. We give students the chance to go to conferences and talk to medical professionals. All of this is non-formal education and all of this changes medical students. It makes them better health advocates, managers, communicators, collaborators, professionals and scholars.

Students can almost not believe it. Doing all these things they love to do and calling this education. Non-formal education is a very valuable way of learning. Unfortunately, this isn’t seen by many medical schools yet. There is no recognition of these wonderful opportunities for students in most medical schools.

And this is what we want! We want non-formal education, extracurricular activities, to be recognized by medical schools. Reward the students that voluntarily work towards better health care and at the same time grow in every role of the CanMEDS model.

I have a dream that future medical students are sitting in their microbiology lecture. Listening to the professor talking about different types of E. Coli. And instead of reading the newspaper or checking Facebook, students are talking about next week’s conference on microbiology where they will advocate for conservative use of antibiotics to decrease antibiotic resistance and where they will be supported by their university.

Let this be just a normal day in the life of a future medical student.

About the author

Rachel Bruls is a medical student at the University of Amsterdam and Regional Assistant for Medical Education in Europe for the IFMSA

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Only the Americans are unhappy with the ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine

Theresa May’s global Britain against Philip Hammond’s Brexit fog

Why is Merkel’s Germany so liberal with the refugees? Did the last elections change that?

Tourism offers much to the EU gets a little

Junior Enterprises as a solution for Youth Entrepreneurship

EU Commission: a rise in wages and salaries may help create more jobs

Why Renewable Energy is an attractive investment

EU Council: The US airlines may freely pollute the European air

When is Berlin telling the truth about the EU banking union?

EU to present a “hefty” exit bill to the UK moments before Brexit negotiations

Italy’s Letta: A European Banking Union soon or Eurozone collapses

Let’s Learn

Brexit update: Tusk’s proposal is out and Cameron takes it all

Arlington, USA: kick-off of the fifth round of the EU-US boxing match

MWC 2016 LIVE: Intel focuses on 5G “beyond the Powerpoint”

European Union: More taxes out of less income

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

A new global financial crisis develops fast; who denies it?

SPB TV @ MWC14: The TV of the Future

CHINA UNLIMITED. PEOPLE UNLIMITED. RESTRICTIONS LIMITED

Snowden is the “EU nomination” for this year’s Oscars

The EU responds to US challenges by fining Apple with €13 billion

‘Internal security’ or how to compromise citizens’ rights and also make huge profits

Bundestag kick starts the next episode of the Greek tragedy

Who may profit from the rise of the extreme right in the West?

How will EU look after French, Dutch and German Elections and what will be the implications for Youth Entrepreneurship?

Brexit: when the hubris of one man can set the UK, the EU and the entire world on fire

The EU seals CETA but plans to re-baptise TTIP after missing the 2016 deadline

Merry Christmas from Erdogan, Putin, Mogherini and the Polish firefighter

Spanish and Polish voters are crying out for an imminent European change while US urge now Germany to change route

ECB’s billions fortify south Eurozone except Greece; everybody rushes to invest in euro area bonds zeroing their yields

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris and beyond: EU action and what COP21 should deliver”, Green MEP Keith Taylor discusses from Brussels 

The G7 fails to agree on growth but protects the big banks

The ECB tells Berlin that a Germanic Eurozone is unacceptable and doesn’t work

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Europe turns out more jobs this summer

To Bing or Not to Bing? That is the question

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

What the world will look like after the Iran and 5+1 deal; the US emerges as major power broker in Middle East

The financial sector cripples Eurozone growth prospects

Financial transactions tax gets go ahead

EU’s tougher privacy rules: WhatsApp and Facebook set to be soon aligned with telcos

Ukraine’s new political order not accepted in Crimea

EUREKA @ European Business Summit 2014: Innovation across borders – mobilising national R&D funds for transnational innovation in Europe

ECB to buy corporate bonds: Will government financing be the next step?

Will Brexit shatter the EU or is it still too early to predict?

Preparing the future today: World Health Organisation and young doctors

Gloomy new statistics signify no end to Eurozone’s economic misery

European Energy Union: Integration of markets and need for in-house energy production

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s