The importance of exchanges for the medical students of the world

ifmsa-exchanges

(IFMSA, 2016)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Anton Sundberg. The writer is a first-semester medical student at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany.  Mr Sundberg is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA).

Systems of any kind are naturally a reflection on the culture and history they are based on. As a result, nuanced schemes have been formed that include factors relevant to its participants and excludes aspect which are not.

Healthcare and education are two aspects that are characteristic to every country in terms of their structure and in what they contain. However, in times of globalisation where we are faced with problems and issues which we can only hope to resolve in an international and joint effort, it is important to understand the systems at work in the area of engagement.

In an effort to tackle global health issues, it has become more and more evident that in order to make a lasting difference, solutions have to be created from the inside, thus slowly building up a framework embedded in the existing healthcare system and to make do with locally available funds and resources. Projected onto the medical field, this can only be achieved if the international physicians and experts that are to work with the local personnel and officials understand the system they are trying to support and improve.

Exchanges while still in medical school offer a splendid way for aspiring doctors to get an insight into the problems and worries that exist in other places. While the western world generally is privileged to have access to resources, knowledge, as well as staff and technology, for many people around the world diarrhoea – easily treatable and preventable – still proves fatal due to a lack of access to medical treatment.

So global health issues are really a matter of making healthcare affordable and accessible in places where it currently is not. Students would be able to see and learn about diseases that don’t necessarily play a role in their own education and open them up to the specific knowledge on how to tackle diseases with limited resources and materials. The countries in question are mostly economically weak or war-torn third world countries, with difficult access to good education as well.

So the other way around, students from places affected by the current global health issues could get a chance to acquire the latest medical knowledge and skills at state-of-the-art institutions.

But most importantly, exchanges can bring these two worlds together and connect students with other students, physicians and faculties around the world at an early stage of their career. A network is created in which developing ideas, reaching out for resources in form of staff or funds and eventually, skilfully embedding the best medical solutions into a system in a way that they will prevail, will be possible.

Global health problems don’t cease to exist after the big first wave getting the world media’s attention has been fended off. The systems that allowed for such developments to happen will have to be improved and pursued. And for that, it is vital for our future physicians to understand the circumstances and realities they will face and to leave the bubble of privileged healthcare.

To actually go abroad and to spend time in places where medical treatment is not self-evident will change every students approach to their future trade. They will be the ones to go out to make a difference together with all the people and fellow students they meet along their educational journey.

About the author

Anton Sundberg, born in Stockholm and raised near Munich, Germany is a 20-year-old first-semester medical student at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University Frankfurt. After finishing high school, he spent one year traveling the world as well as working on a work-and-travel visa in Australia. This is where he discovered his passion for traveling and getting to know new cultures. Especially in South-East-Asia and on the Fiji Islands, he got a first impression of the extreme poverty, social inequality and the lack of infrastructure and healthcare. 

Upon returning home from his trip, he completed a 6-month training for paramedic in order to confirm and to further develop his interest in medicine. From June to September this year, he interned at a cardiological clinic in Fortaleza, Brazil where he got a deep insight into a underfunded healthcare system with all its consequences before returning to Germany to begin his studies.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

UNICEF delivers medical supplies to Gaza in wake of deadly protests

Eurozone: Uncertain future with unemployment ravaging the South

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

High-flyers: China is on top of the world for skyscraper construction

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

Bram in Colombia

Sweden well ahead in digital transformation yet has more to do

Refugees now make up 1% of the world’s population

EU: Centralised economic governance and bank supervision may lead to new crisis

The hostilities in south and eastern Ukraine resume; where could they lead?

Draghi’s ‘quasi’ announcement of a new era of more and cheaper money

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

The right approach to addressing overcapacity problem from a Chinese perspective

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Fed, ECB take positions to face the next global financial crisis; the Brits uncovered

Why the euro may rise with the dollar even at lower interest rates

Eurozone at risk of home-made deflation and recession

German stock market is not affected by the Greek debt revolution while Athens is running out of time

It’s not your imagination, summers are getting hotter

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antimicrobials

TTIP wins first crucial EU test: MEPs give in to the trade agreement

Hostilities in Syria’s southwest, mean cuts in vital aid across Jordanian border: Senior UN official

Air quality: Commission takes action to protect citizens from air pollution

We’ll succeed together

Eurozone closer to a deflation – stagnation trap

This robot has soft hands. It could be the future of sustainable production

ILO warns of widespread insecurity in the global labour market

The European Youth raises their voices this week in Brussels at Yo!Fest 2015

UN chief applauds Bangladesh for ‘opening borders’ to Rohingya refugees in need

The European Sting Cookie Policy

‘Immense’ needs of migrants making perilous journey between Yemen and Horn of Africa prompts $45 million UN migration agency appeal

IMF’s Lagarde: Ukraine must fight corruption

‘Habitual residence’ rules deprive EU workers from social benefits

At Ministerial session, UN regional office in Beirut to focus on technology for sustainable development

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

Cameron postpones speech in Holland

Digital business is Europe’s best hope to get back to growth

Parmesan cheese on shelves in Italy (Copyright: European Union, 2014 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Daniela Giusti)

CETA at risk again: Italy says it won’t ratify EU-Canada trade deal over product protection fears

If we can build the International Space Station, ‘we can do anything’ – UN Champion for Space

CHINA UNLIMITED. PEOPLE UNLIMITED. RESTRICTIONS LIMITED

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

Politics needs to “Youth UP” in order the ensure the future of our democracies

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

Migration: Commission steps up emergency assistance to Spain and Greece

Merkel refuses to consider the North-South schism of Eurozone

UN chief welcomes ‘first concrete step’ in normalizing Eritrea-Ethiopia relationship

A young person’s perspective on the Paris and Beirut attacks and aftermath

Eurozone in trouble after Nicosia’s ‘no’

The end of the 404? Why we need to repair the internet’s crumbling infrastructure

JADE Romania Celebrates the 4th Anniversary

Why growth is now a one way road for Eurozone

European Commissioner for Youth wants young people to be at heart of policy making

China and China-EU Relations in the New Era

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

The Stray

China in my eyes

Charles Michel advocates a strong Europe that acts where it can add real value

UN warns of ‘deteriorating climate’ for human rights defenders in Guatemala

Shinzō Abe, on the right, and Jean-Claude Juncker at EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo last week. (Copyright: European Union, 2018 / Photo: Etienne Ansotte)

EU and Japan ratify first FTA ever to include Paris Climate Agreement provision

G20 LIVE: G20 Antalya Summit in Numbers, 15-16 November 2015

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 )

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