Medical Studies During COVID-19: How the Pandemic Affects this Generation of Doctors-to-be

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was written by one of our passionate readers, Ms. Gabriela Soares Amaral, a Brazilian, 23 years old, third year medical student in Würzburg, Germany. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue.


Every medical student had its own path before reaching medical school, but one thing is practically a constant: the months or even years until getting accepted into the course were like the storm before the rainbow. We study, prepare ourselves, imagine the moment we are going to have the first anatomy classes, and, suddenly, the dream comes true: we buy our first stethoscope – or receive it as a gift, like it is tradition in my country – and even call the older uncle who is also a doctor for advices. We start the course full of experiences and expectations, go through semesters of good and bad lectures and then, as if it were a joke from life, we are in the year 2020, a pandemic without precedents hits the world and the moment we were finally going to transition from the heavy theory-filled first semesters to the practical ones is rescheduled, rescheduled, adapted and so on.  

     At first it felt like disorientation, what seemed like something far away reached us – Europe and the western world – far too soon and far too brutal, people were sent home and life as we knew stopped. Then we started seeing the numbers go up and people suffering and, to be honest, we did not feel like we had reason to complain, as the Assimilation-Contrast Theory first postulated by Sherif an Hovland tells us, one occurrence seems to cause different impressions on people when compared to others. This has barely changed since then.  But what came next? We watched the world bend the knees to researchers, physicians, nurses and other health-workers and pray for a cure. We watched our future profession colleagues fighting their fight against this invisible enemy and we felt more than ever the need to be teached, the need for knowledge, the need to advance in the studies, because we see the weight that is on their shoulders. This responsibility, to care for other people’s lives, will one day also be on our shoulders.

     Now, march 2021, we have adapted ourselves to an online-driven format that works pretty well in some professions: living-rooms were turned into conference rooms and even the mode world trends more “comfy-looks” for work, sweaters are for the first time welcome. But for us this definitely does not work, at least not alone, only as an additional. We need to look into the patient’s eyes, to be able to hear his story, to examinate him/her and repeat it if necessary. We need this to be good – or at least decent – doctors and to make the difference in the already so sterile, image-centered medicine that is made nowadays.

      The whole panorama is sad, because we still see people dying, a lot, we see a third “wave” coming with large steps towards us and we don’t get to see the patients, we don’t get to perform examinations, we get a sip of what we would have had, hasn’t the pandemic occurred. And we ask ourselves “will this be enough? Are we coming in the last year’s Rotations as raw as freshmen? “But for now, we just keep the thoughts one more time for ourselves and hold on to each other or to whatever we find that gives us hope. For now, we all need hope and, mostly, desperately, to keep safe.

About the author

Gabriela Soares Amaral is a brazilian, 23 years old, third year medical student in Würzburg, Germany. She comes from a medical doctors family and is a restless learner whose hobbies are related to music and arts in general.

Join the Hive!

the sting Milestones

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

Climate action ‘both a priority and a driver of the decade’: Guterres

Finland is a world leader in clean energy. Here’s what’s driving its success

Trump’s Russophiles under investigation, Europe remains ‘en garde’

Syria war: executions condemned as violence continues ‘on both sides’ of border with Turkey

Now is the time to seize ‘unprecedented opportunity’ of the Sustainable Development Forum, says ECOSOC President

Afghanistan extends ceasefire with Taliban; UN urges both sides to work towards lasting peace

EU and China in search of a win-win agreement through strategic cooperation ahead of the EU-China summit

‘Wind blowing in the direction of peace’ in Africa: UN Secretary-General

Harnessing the power of nature in the fight against climate change

Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament should ask Council to act, say committee MEPs

COP25: ‘Signals of hope’ multiplying in face of global climate crisis, insists UN chief Guterres

Council Presidency: Floundering with the EU 2014 budget

EU Banks still get subsidies from impoverished citizens

Century challenge: inclusion of immigrants in the health system

State aid: Commission approves €53 million public support scheme for charging stations for low emission vehicles in Romania

Is China about to launch its own cryptocurrency?

European Health Union: Commission publishes open public consultation on the European Health Data Space

Trade preferences boost developing countries’ exports to the European Union

These are New York Public Library’s 10 most borrowed books

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

China in my eyes

5 charts that show renewable energy’s latest milestone

Making the move to more sustainable mobility – three steps for companies

This young activist explains how to change the world in 3 steps

Hungary’s emergency measures: MEPs ask EU to impose sanctions and stop payments

Telemedicine: union when the rule is isolation

International partners pledge $1.2 billion to help cyclone-hit Mozambique recover, ‘build back better’

Vulnerable young people must not be blamed & stigmatised for violent radicalisation

Scotland wants to create an ethical stock exchange (Post Brexit)

Addressing the Challenges of COVID-19 Vaccination

The future of the plastics industry is green

A clean energy future with hydrogen could be closer than we think

Human rights breaches in Guinea Conakry and Madagascar

Art, mental health and suicide: different strategies for increasing access to health services

As human genome editing moves from the lab to the clinic, the ethical debate is no longer hypothetical

How debt for climate swaps could spur a green recovery

The UN’s unyielding effort to tackle sexual abuse and exploitation: our quarterly update

Security Union: Significant progress and tangible results over past years but efforts must continue

Impact investing in Latin America and addressing the ‘missing middle’

Governments must take further action to boost job opportunities at an older age

EUREKA @ European Business Summit 2014: Innovation across borders – mobilising national R&D funds for transnational innovation in Europe

The world’s impact in a small Brazilian town and the increased demand for mental health

Long-term EU budget: The Union’s ambitions must be matched with sufficient reliable funding

Time to pay up: UN summit to push for development finance breakthrough

‘Great cause of concern’ UN chief tells Security Council, surveying ‘bleak’ state of civilian protection

How Islamic finance can build resilience to climate change

Further reforms in France can drive growth, improve public finances and boost social cohesion

The best companies to work for in 2020, according to Glassdoor

Countries must up their game to reduce low birth weights, warns UN-backed report

Libya: EU efforts should focus on protecting migrants, MEPs say

MWC2021 Launches New Initiative to Widen Access for Spanish Industry Professionals

One in three children do not get the nutrition they need

Largest joint UN humanitarian convoy of the war, reaches remote Syrian settlement

Is the EU denying its social character favouring a banking conglomerate?

Why the UN is investigating poverty in the United Kingdom

Sustainable fishing staying afloat in developed world, sinking in poorer regions

A comprehensive strategy for Eurozone’s long term growth gains momentum

Silk Road Unlimited

This is how Europe is helping companies and workers as the coronavirus crisis deepens

UN chief announces progress on committee to shape Syria’s political future

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