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

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Conference on Future of Europe should start “as soon as possible in autumn 2020”

Discovering Europe: Free EU rail pass for 18 year olds

EU to pay a dear price if the next crisis catches Eurozone stagnant and deflationary; dire statistics from Eurostat

Bilbao’s city parks offer brain-training games for the elderly

Why I stopped taking the lift

Water pollution is killing millions of Indians. Here’s how technology and reliable data can change that

UN Forum examines three pillars of 2030 Global Goals

Despite setbacks, ‘political will’ to end Yemen war stronger than ever: top UN envoy

3 campaigns spreading the joy of reading to children at home

Towards a tobacco free India

Here’s how drone delivery will change the face of global logistics

AI can be a game-changer for the world’s forests. Here’s how

Want a sustainable business? Hire in talent

Rohingya cannot become ‘forgotten victims,’ says UN chief urging world to step up support

Venezuela: Competing US, Russia resolutions fail to pass in Security Council

Why embracing human rights will ensure Artificial Intelligence works for all

Why we need a Paris Agreement for nature

UN chief praises Japanese climate resilience, as Typhoon Hagibis cleanup begins

Tackling terrorism: MEPs approve tighter rules on homemade explosives

The Japanese idea of ‘chowa’ – and how Asia can thrive in the future

Companies must focus on resiliency, profitability and sustainability

The relationship between Dengue and the rainfall in Boa Vista, Brazil

3 ways India can tackle its human-waste problem

3 charts that show how attitudes to climate science vary around the world

YOUTH WILL BE A KEY FOCUS IN THE NEXT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

South Sudan: €48.5 million in additional EU humanitarian aid

Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon should be free to earn a living

Fair and Simple Taxation: Commission proposes new package of measures to contribute to Europe’s recovery and growth

Commission presents its response to Antisemitism and a survey showing Antisemitism is on the rise in the EU

Human rights experts call for ‘paradigm shift’ on arbitrary detention in Qatar

The world’s most vulnerable must be protected: WHO briefing

Public Health equality in a trench

COP21 Breaking News: “There is an ecological debt that the world needs to pay back to Africa”, French President Francois Hollande promises 2 Billion euros by 2020 from Paris

DiscoverEU: 15,000 travel passes up for grabs to explore the EU this summer

Here are 10 of the most urgent health challenges we’ll face in the 2020s, according to WHO

Brexit: Is there anybody supporting a non-violent separation?

Why the Greeks forgave Tsipras’ pirouettes around austerity and voted again for SYRIZA

Fair minimum wages: Commission launches second-stage consultation of social partners

EU: Turkey to shelter Syrian refugees and turn other immigrants back in return of €3 billion

On Kristallnacht anniversary, UN chief urges renewed fight against ‘crime’ of anti-Semitism

Rural Bangladesh has already embraced renewable energy. Here’s what the rest of the world can learn

Microsoft’s YouthSpark: a kiss of Life to European Youth from the European Parliament

The Commission favours the cultivation of more GMOs in Europe

The link between migration and technology is not what you think

Q and A: This is how stakeholder capitalism can help heal the planet

The Arctic is having holes stabbed through it at an alarming rate

‘Step backwards’ for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region as assembly reneges on Srebrenica genocide report

100 years on, UN labour agency mission focussed on growing inequality, says Director-General

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

Deal agreed to protect consumers against misleading and unfair practices

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

The US starts an intense currency war to protect its global standing

Online platforms required by law to be more transparent with EU businesses

Euronest: delivering reforms is the best way forward for EU’s Eastern Partners

The Sting’s Mission

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Transport Industry Drive for Improved Energy Efficiency and Electro-Mobility to Stem High Growth of Emissions

UN chief reaffirms commitment to untying ‘Gordian knot’ of Middle East conflict and instability

Governments adopt UN global migration pact to help ‘prevent suffering and chaos’

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

Commission disburses €8.5 billion under SURE to five Member States

More Stings?

Advertising

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s