Young health workforce – a core of effective primary healthcare?

Medical student

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Laura Bluzmane is a 5th year medical student of Riga Stradins University in Riga, Latvia. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. 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.


“To give is to get” is a kind reminder to myself as i am reaching the final stages of six years long studies and still defining the place of future doctors in the field.

This is no longer a secret that a lot of emotional weight and stress is carried onto the shoulders of young fellows and doctors in the hospitals during the first residency and practice years. This kind of reality and burnout struggles affect the way of thinking, the way of solidyfying the identity and growth as a young specialist, that is why the main motive for the majority of fellows is to specialize in a specific area of medicine whilst simultaneously thinking of the better future profit possibilities and working conditions.

Nevertheless, the reality in the Latvian healtcare system is hard to accept- the incredible lack of young doctors retrospectively to the larger number of older general practitioners in the primary healtcare and a high level of diagnostic mistakes in essential healthcare makes me wonder is it really possible to reassure young specialists that without them the system is unfixable and having no chances for the better health outcomes and improved quality of care day after tomorrow?

Observing incredibly heavy reality of the healthcare system in Latvia terrifies not only patients but also, us- medical students, the ones who see both the external process of diagnosing and treating a patient and the internal process of getting there.

Youngsters shall engage more to provide strong primary healthcare. Bringing new and fresh perspectives, staying abreast of up-to-date information, knowledge of the effective preventive methods and being able to early detect symptoms may be one of the most important advantages of a young doctor, this way having an important role in a patient care, impacting the quality of life and health for thousand of patients each year. As if we all agree that primary healtcare shall be accessible to all community members why don’t we try to provide the best approach of improving it?

I believe that the greatest pride shall be the one to be truly in service to our profession and the needs of community, working together on improving primary healtcare may be one of the little steps towards third sustainable development goal which promotes good health and well being. Because after all, medicine is about caring for people rather than simply treating the conditions, so is primary health care, which is the core of a medicine itself.

About the author

Laura Bluzmane is a 5 th year medical student of Riga Stradins University in Riga, Latvia.  Since 3 rd year she had been an active member of LaMSA-Latvia. Public health and project management enthusiast. Believes that all the best experiences are coming from the unknown and that a character can’t be developed at ease. Combines working and volunteering in the hospital, organizing scientific conferences and blogging in popular scientific magazine with a passion for travelling.

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