Student Engagement and Changes in Medical Education

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Mariana Fonseca Santana, a second-year medical student from Universidade Tiradentes (UNIT), Aracaju-SE, Brazil. 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 writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

In May 1968, French students initiated demands for a better educational system, an initiative that inspired people around the world and promoted the restructuring of inadequacies in education. As in the example, the actions of young students are part of world history, as the student class has been, for centuries, one of the groups most committed to changing realities by provoking a new way of thinking. This sense of leadership, today, encourages medical students to fight for a medical education system that is better suited to the demands of the modern world.

In this context, as the Education and Health Systems evolve, the educational community seeks to reimagine the roles of medical students, to combine learning with significant contributions to the Health System, making them more active in future medical practice. In this way, students can add value by taking detailed patient histories to identify social determinants of health and barriers to care, providing input, for example, from Evidence-Based Medicine at point-of-care and through projects in health system research.

The changes shown to be relevant by medical students gain scope and are even more consolidated from the changes in interpersonal relationships promoted by globalization. This phenomenon stands out for its ability to integrate people through access to the means of communication and greater accessibility to information, which generates a better sharing of ideals that seek to further develop Medicine, which, in the current decade, is seen as a science to be studied in order to solve extensive problems that are associated with global pathologies, not only attending to local diseases, as occurred in the past. This demand, therefore, justifies all efforts to ensure that the Medical Education System is increasingly updated and integrated with the new requirements in global health.

Due to the increasingly strong youth leadership in matters related to Medical Education, debate forums gain prominence and emerge as a means of integrating engaged students from different parts of the world, to discuss guidelines associated with the future of medical practice, which gains relevance as verbal and spatial communication between individuals of different nationalities becomes frequent and viable with the development of new communication and transportation technologies.


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3. Omrani OE, Dafallah A, Paniello Castillo B, Amaro BQ, Taneja S, Amzil M, Sajib MR, Ezzine T. Envisioning planetary health in every medical curriculum: An international medical student organization ‘s perspective. Medical Teacher [Internet]. 6 ago 2020 [cited 26 jan 2023];42(10):1107-11. Available from:

4. Singh S, McCool J, Weller J, Woodward A. Medical Education in the 21st Century: Students Driving the Global Agenda. Education Research International [Internet]. 2012 [cited 26 jan 2023];2012:1-5. Available from:

About the author

Mariana Fonseca Santana, a second-year medical student from Universidade Tiradentes (UNIT), Aracaju-SE, Brazil. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), a cordial partner of The Sting.

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