Doctors without borders

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Felix Gunzer , a nineteen years old medical student at the Universtity of Graz, Austria. He is also affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

“How should patients know that you are trustable if you even do not know yourself.”

It has been those words which my former supervisor once used to enlighten my own ideology. I have worked at a hospital in Switzerland at that time, however, I was not a doctor then – not even a medical student. In those days, I have not truly understood the significance of these words in respect of my own personality. I have always been a confident person and thought I would know myself. Future made me realise that I was wrong.

A general problem in medicine is that the most doctors think they are gods, especially medical students. And at first glance, one may understand why. As a medical student, you have to study longer than students from the most other fields, you need a plethora of resilience and finally, after all the hours of memorization and nerve-wracking student parties, you are saving lives and helping humans with no thought of yourself. In fact, that is the opinion in general. But in truth, doctors are no gods. I would not doubt that doctors save lives and it certainly pleases me that physicians still have a good social status in our society but the more you work at hospitals the more you realise that the bulk of physicians are merely machines garbed in white squeezing out the patients about any information of medical relevance in a quite efficient way without straying far from the topic.

But when the moment comes that a person in front of you do not need a physician but rather a person she or he can talk too because she or he is descending into great grief, than the most cannot deal with the situation because they do not want to lose their professional distance or feel uneasy in such moments. But if you can, then you are an excellent physician because you have not only superb medical skills but outstanding social competencies as well and can really help humans in every respect.

But how do you improve? The answer is simple: Emigrate.

By moving abroad, you have the best chances to improve your strengths and your deficiencies so that you become a better version of yourself. It seems plausible that leaving the comfort zone leads to more autonomy and well-developed interpersonal skills that are mandatory for doctors. Furthermore, by dealing with different cultures, different systems, different opinions you receive gifts of crucial importance. Inspiration.  Empathy.  Language skills. Not to forget that, at least, you understand who you really are or can be. Those capabilities are far more valuable than expert knowledge. Only after a long period abroad you realise that all your anxieties and uncertainties only existed in your head. And, believe me, you shall gain these insights neither in your hometown nor in your native country.

Hence emigrate! Because if you are not aware of the human’s facets and varieties, as a doctor, you will never address your patient’s individual needs.

About the author

Felix Gunzer is a nineteen years old medical student at the university of Graz, Austria. Born in Bonn, Germany, he moved abroad to study medicine. Before his medical studies, he worked frequently at hospitals in Germany and Switzerland. He has already founded a small company and plans to repeat it any time soon. He also speaks English and French and his hobbies are badminton, guitar, piano as he is curretly writing a novel.

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

New EU rules ensure better protection for 120 million holidaymakers this summer

European Border and Coast Guard: 10 000-strong standing corps by 2027

Google succumbs unconditionally to EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling

COVID-19 will hit the developing world’s cities hardest. Here’s why

Tributes for ‘role model’ former UN refugee agency chief, Sadako Ogata

The big five EU telecom operators in dire straights

AI can wreak havoc if left unchecked by humans

Clamp down on illegal trade in pets, urge Public Health Committee MEPs

As conflicts become more complex, ‘mediation is no longer an option; it is a necessity’, UN chief tells Security Council

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Hydrogen isn’t the fuel of the future. It’s already here

5 ways COVID-19 has changed workforce management

Terrorism and migrants: the two awful nightmares for Europe and Germany in 2016

EU job-search aid worth €2 million for 500 former shipbuilding workers in Spain

France pushes UK to stay and Germany to pay

Where EU air pollution is deadliest

China rare earth prices soar on their potential role in trade war

Harmonised Unemployment Rates (HURs), OECD – Updated: February 2020

UN spotlights wellbeing of seafarers on International Day

‘Much more’ can be done to raise awareness about the plight of persons with albinism: UN chief

UN-backed intercultural dialogue forum urged to keep working to ‘bridge gap between the like-minded’

EU joint response to disasters: deal reached with Council

Combatting terrorism: Parliament sets out proposals for a new EU strategy

This South Korean city once had the biggest coronavirus outbreak outside of China. Now it’s reported zero new cases

Commission moves to ensure supply of personal protective equipment in the European Union

5 crises that could worsen under COVID-19

Finland has just published everyone’s taxes on ‘National Jealousy Day’

ITU Telecom World 2017: exploring smart digital transformation

European Parliament calls on Russia to end occupation of Georgian territories

5 neuroscience hacks that will make you happier

RescEU: MEPs vote to upgrade EU civil protection capacity

All for equality – 2020 is a pivotal year for Gender Equality

Deeper reforms in Korea will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

Milk, fruits and vegetables distributed to schoolchildren thanks to EU programme

China’s cities are rapidly becoming more competitive. Here’s why

Security Council must ‘come together’ to address the plight of children trapped in armed conflict, says UN envoy

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

New EU-UK agreement is welcome but thorough scrutiny remains, insist lead MEPs

Coal addiction ‘must be overcome’ to ease climate change, UN chief says in Bangkok

EU27 leaders unite on Brexit Guidelines ahead of “tough negotiations” with Theresa May

How to get young people in Europe to swipe right on voting

This is Amsterdam’s ambitious plan to turn its transport electric

Reforms in Latvia must result in stronger enforcement to tackle foreign bribery and subsequent money laundering risks

Parliament boosts consumer rights online and offline

What is systemic racism, and how can we combat it?

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Powering a climate-neutral economy: Commission sets out plans for the energy system of the future and clean hydrogen

Marginalized groups hit hardest by inequality and stigma in cities

OECD joins with Japan to fight financial crime by establishing new academy

The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming

EU Parliament and Council: Close to agreement on the bank resolution mechanism

Poor quality is healthcare’s silent killer. Here’s what we can do about it

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

Global trade is broken. Here are five ways to rebuild it

Intervene, don’t overthink – the new mantra of systems design

We need natural solutions to fight ocean and climate risk

EU Parliament: No EU-US trade agreement without safe data

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

Italy and Greece zeroed their fiscal deficits, expect Germany’s response

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