Does Switzerland really need more medical students?

jeremy-glasner-march-eich

(IFMSA, 2016)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Jérémy Glasner & March Eich (swimsa Co-Vice-presidents for Medical Education 2015/16), both medical students from Switzerland. The translation was made by Federico Mazzola (swimsa President 2016/17). The writers are members of Swiss Medical Students’ Association (swimsa) Medical Education Committee, affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA).

It is no secret – every patient seeking a Swiss hospital or a family doctor outside big cities notices it clearly. We do not have enough doctors. Due to this finding the federal council will invest 100 million Swiss francs (€ 91 million) over 4 years to increase the number of medical students. This sum attracts a lot of interest: the University of Zurich and Berne want to increase their capacity, the ETH Zurich has always dreamt of their own Bachelors degree in clinical medicine, whilst Fribourg, Ticino, Saint Gallen, and Lucerne would love to establish a Masters program (years 4-6 of Swiss university training of MDs).

The Swiss Medical Students’ Association represents all Swiss medical students. Attentively we have compiled a policy paper on Quality Assurance and the Future of Medical Studies, serving as basis of this article. Naturally we support the initiative, which will allow more graduates to follow their dreams and enable Switzerland to be more independent from its neighbouring countries. This independence may also help to alleviate the shortage of doctors in surrounding countries caused by the import of foreign doctors into Switzerland.

Firstly, this shortage has many influenceable factors. On the one hand, the doctor shortage is relative, since some specialities are more affected than others: family medicine and psychiatry as prime examples. On the other hand, rural areas suffer more than urban ones. Additionally, the divergence between the work-life-balance expectation of the current generation and the effective working conditions lead to many doctors quitting their profession.

Secondly, creating a new medical course is hard work. In our experience the change of one system to another is difficult, especially since every university has their very own curriculum.

Finally, a quick increase in the number of medical students may negatively impact academic quality, which currently enjoys a high reputation in Switzerland. Without any infrastructural development, lecture halls will reach capacity. More importantly, having a limited number of patients, facilities and medical educators it proves difficult to sustain small group learning, essential for clinical training.

These obstacles can be overcome and provide a chance to bring innovation to the Swiss medical landscape: suffering specialities can be promoted and made attractive throughout the curriculum, in addition to ameliorating their working conditions and their salaries. Moreover, a better task distribution between different medical profession should be considered, next to creating a better working atmosphere, allowing every doctor to fully flourish at work and at home. The key to organising a new medical curriculum is cooperation and collaboration. The numerous institutions involved have to work as a team to secure that courses follow a clear concept.

We plight for quality before quantity, especially for the safety and comfort of patients. Only universities with enough human, financial, and infrastructural resources are able to offer a student-centred education and conserve the individuality of each future doctor.

Swimsa is delighted to be involved in the development of the best possible education for future doctors and therewith hopes to contribute to an excellent treatment for each and every patient.

Visit swimsa.ch/de/ausbildung/stellungnahmen for the full policy statement
(available in German and French). 

About the authors

Jérémy and Marc were the swimsa Vice-Presidents for Medical Education from 2014 to 2016. Together with the swimsa Medical Education Committee they have compiled numerous policy papers, giving Swiss medical students a strong voice. The policy paper on Quality Assurance and the Future of Medical Studies is one of their greatest successes, gaining support by the Union of Students of Switzerland and the according commission of the Swiss Federal Council. Jérémy currently sits in the commission working on the new Swiss Catalogue of Learning Objectives (SCLO), whilst Marc is the delegate to the resident and attending doctors’ association (VSAO).

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Join the Hive!

Featured Stings

Cameron’s “No Brexit” campaign wins top business support as Tory front breaks

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

Changing for the change: Medicine in Industry 4.0

The representatives of the regions and the cities know better what the EU needs on migration, trade, poverty and taxation

Resisting EU budget cuts

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

Economic recovery won’t tackle youth unemployment problem

Responsible Artificial Intelligence

Progress in medical research: leading or lagging behind?

European Business Summit 2014 Launch Event: “Energising Industrial Growth”

EU’s new sanctions on Russia into force “in the next few days”: strength, weakness or strategy?

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

Alice in Colombia

Why impoverishment and social exclusion grow in the EU; the affluent north also suffers

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

Medical students: The need for emigration

European Youth Forum welcomes the European Commission’s proposed revision of the Union Code on Visas, however it does not go far enough

Youth platforms call on German Government to break down legal barriers for young volunteers and pupils

More solidarity and interaction between generations needed to challenge age stereotypes and ingrained ageism

Did Draghi ask the Germans to accept a drastic change of austerity policies?

Banks get trillions and the unemployed ECB’s love…

Contact the Sting

Who is to profit from the quasi announced ECB rate cut?

European Youth Forum and youngest MEPs call on President Juncker to keep his promise to Europe’s youth

Regional competitiveness and growth: a Gordian knot for Europe

Europe again the black sheep at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

Quality Internships: Towards a Toolkit for Employers

Migration crisis update: The “Habsburg Empire” comes back to life while EU loses control

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

European Youth calls on European Council for urgent action on “humanitarian crisis” and questions the EU/Turkey deal respect of human rights

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

The MH17 tragedy to put a tombstone on Ukrainian civil war

Does Switzerland really need more medical students?

Macron’s Presidency: what the young generation’s expectations are

Rehn very reserved about growth in Eurozone

Why Eurozone’s problems may end in a few months

Trump stumbles badly on his Russian openings; Europeans wary of Putin

Why Europe is more competitive than the US

Social inclusion: how much should young people hope from the EU? 

Uncovered liabilities of €5 billion may render EU insolvent

The Commission tells Berlin it is legally obliged to help Eurozone out of stagnation

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

US, Russia oblige each other in Syria and Ukraine selling off allies

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

Climate change will never be combatted by EU alone while some G20 countries keep procrastinating

Commission criticised member states on blocking financial transaction tax

Movius @ MWC14: Discussing novel Communications Applications over a “CAFÉ”

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

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

More capital and liquidity for the banks

Migration has set EU’s political clock ticking; the stagnating economy cannot help it and Turkey doesn’t cooperate

Berlin and Paris pursue the financial fragmentation of Eurozone

Is it just visa-free travel that Erdogan demands from the EU to not break the migration deal?

Eurogroup: IMF proposes Germany disposes

Eurozone set to abandon monetary and incomes austerity and adopt growth friendly policies

China Unlimited and the Chinese dream

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

COP21 Paris agreement: a non legally-binding climate pact won’t stop effectively global warming while EU’s Cañete throws hardest part to next Commission

Eurozone needs more than some decimals of growth

The umpteenth Italian overturn takes Renzi and PD to unprecedented victory at EU elections

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