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

Declaring commitment to ‘peace and stability’ for Libya, top UN envoy steps down as stress takes its toll

World Health Organisation and medical students: is there any room for improvement?

Euro-Mediterranean Assembly fixes its permanent seat in Rome

Subsidiarity and Proportionality: Task Force presents recommendations on a new way of working to President Juncker

Facts, not fear, will stop COVID-19 – so how should we talk about it?

GSMA Announces Latest Event Updates for 2018 “Mobile World Congress Americas, in Partnership with CTIA”

How Africa’s entrepreneurs are changing the direction of globalization

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

How we can survive the great COVID lockdown: IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath

Is Eurozone heading for disinflation?

EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: new actions of almost €150 million to tackle human smuggling, protect vulnerable people and stabilise communities in North Africa

The AI doctor won’t see you now

One migrant child reported dead or missing every day, UN calls for more protection

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

EU leaders prepare timetable and structure for EU budget negotiations

Guterres condemns killing of Bangladeshi peacekeeper in South Sudan, during armed attack on UN convoy

How secure is blockchain?

Track the spread of coronavirus around the world

Things are bad and getting worse for South Africa. Or are they?

Forward Agenda: What can we expect from 2019?

We need a reskilling revolution. Here’s how to make it happen

Syria: UN-backed watchdog says chemical weapon ‘likely used’ in February attack

4 lessons on human cooperation from the fight against Ebola

Natural gas: Parliament extends EU rules to pipelines from non-EU countries

Deutsche Bank: the next financial crisis is here and the lenders need €150 billion from taxpayers

Low productivity jobs continue to drive employment growth

European Citizens’ Initiative: A game of much publicity and one big lie

We finally have a life-saving vaccine for Ebola

First-ever UN report on disability and development, illustrates inclusion gaps

What does artificial intelligence do in medicine?

Practicing healthcare through a global lens

It ain’t over until Google says it’s over

EU citizens want more competences for the EU to deal with crises like COVID-19

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of DSME by HHIH

Revealed: danger and squalor for cleaners who remove human waste by hand

Scores killed in ‘barbaric’ attack on Mali village, UN chief urges restraint, calls for ‘dialogue’ to resolve tensions

We know ethics should inform AI. But which ethics?

Green light for VAT overhaul to simplify system and cut fraud

Joint UN, OSCE engagement can address crisis in Ukraine, other ‘dark spots of conflict’ in Europe

Governments, businesses ‘walk the talk’ for investment in sustainable development: UN forum

Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

Commission launches new edition of the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor 2019

UN, African Union make significant joint commitment to global health

Will the French let Macron destroy their party political system?

‘Complacency is still strong’ over stopping genocide, says top UN adviser

Climate Change: a challenge yet to be tackled in medical schools

UPDATED: Guterres condemns armed attack against UN peacekeepers in Mali

MEPs debate EEAS report on disinformation activities related to COVID-19

These are the 4 most likely scenarios for the future of energy

Investment Plan for Europe: European Investment Bank to provide BioNTech with up to €100 million in debt financing for COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing

Serious concerns over Sahel, require ‘urgent action’: Senior UN Africa official

This project is turning abandoned fishing gear into volleyball nets

Eurozone retail sales fall shows recession

Citing public anger and youth activism, OECD Secretary-General urges governments to heed calls for climate action

How to provide health education and thus create better health systems

France asks help from Germany but it will not be for free

Sustainable Development Goals: making the world a better place

Partnerships with civil society and youth ‘essential’ for a future that leaves no one behind: General Assembly President

UN team aids Samoa response to deadly measles epidemic

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