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

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

What you need to know about the Sustainable Development Impact Summit

Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States

‘World’s deadliest sea crossing’ claimed six lives a day in 2018: UN refugee agency

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Safeguarding civilians, strengthening Ebola response in DR Congo, marking Fistula Day, updates on CAR and Syria

Germany and Europe prepare for Trump’s America

Overseas investment falling, developing countries largely unscathed: UN trade agency

5G networks: to slice or not to slice?

‘The welfare of the Libyan people’ the UN’s sole agenda for the country, says Guterres in Tripoli

MEPs call for a reduction in pesticides to protect bees

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

This start-up is making a palm oil alternative from used coffee grounds

Eurobarometer survey: Majority of EU citizens positive about international trade

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Syrian detainees, Zimbabwe hunger crisis, Kabul attack, Mexico disappearances, new tech to feed the world

Main results of Foreign Affairs EU Council, 16/07/2018

Future of EU farming: MEPs push for modern common policy with fair funding

Does Indonesia have the world’s most complicated elections?

MWC 2016 LIVE: BlackBerry acquires Encription, talks Microsoft and health

‘Break the cycle’ of disaster-response-recovery, urges top UN official, as death toll mounts from Cyclone Idai

Sustainable investment is on the rise – here’s how to connect the dots

Why we need artists who strive for social change

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

The creation and maintenance of smoke-free public spaces in the UK

Privatization as a symptom of health inequity

Reform of road use charges to spur cleaner transport and ensure fairness

YOUTH RIGHTS AT RISK FROM RISE OF EXTREME-RIGHT AND POPULISTS IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

State aid: Commission approves €790 million Croatian guarantee scheme for companies with export activities affected by coronavirus outbreak

TTIP fight round 6: last chance for the negotiators to finally open up as they touch the Brussels ring

Draghi drafts a plan to donate more money to bankers, the era of ‘money for nothin’ is flourishing

This company grows crops inside, stacked on top of one another

This is how we inspire young people in the Middle East to join the fight against climate change

Africa-Europe Alliance: European Commission committed to a sustainable African agri-food sector

Lagarde’s metamorphoses, not a laughing matter

EU regional differences betray an unjust arrangement

Teenage girl’s death sentence spotlights Sudan’s failure to tackle forced marriage, gender-based violence – UN rights office

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

Governments and non-state actors need to take urgent action to meet Paris Agreement goals

World Food Programme accesses Yemeni frontline district for first time since conflict began

2014 will bring more European Union for the big guys and less for the weak

The future of energy in Puerto Rico is renewable

6 young leaders who are improving the state of the world on International Youth Day

How to keep our cities cool as temperatures rise

UN mission in DR Congo appeals for calm as violent protests continue

WHO coronavirus briefing: Isolation, testing and tracing comprise the “backbone” of response

Coronavirus: a common approach for safe and efficient mobile tracing apps across the EU

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

Bacterial resistance: the significant worldwide problem

Gas pipeline in the European Union. (Copyright: EU, 2012 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Ferenc Isza)

EU Investment Bank approves € 1.5bn loan for Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)

So, what is your favourite Sustainable Development Goal?

3 things the G20 can do to save the World Trade Organization

Delivering masks across borders: EU Single Market protecting citizens’ health

Yes, together we can make a change! YO!Fest and EYE 2016

Missile strike kills at least 12 civilians, including children, in Syria’s Idlib: UN humanitarians

Will AI make the gender gap in the workplace harder to close?

This mobile laundry gives homeless people free showers and washes their clothes

Greece bailout ends but with no substantial effect on citizens’ life

Half the population of Yemen at risk of famine: UN emergency relief chief

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

World Cancer Day: Here’s how perceptions about the disease differ around the world

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