Medical students: Youth with the immense capability of improving the medical education system

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Rajvi Chaudhary, a graduate of Medical College Baroda and SSG Hospital, India. 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.

This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over a life of ease – Robert F. Kennedy.1By definition, a stakeholder is a person, group, organization or system that affects and can be affected by an organizational action.

In the medical education system, medical students are also vital stakeholders along with other authorities.In recent years, active youth involvement led to immense influence on their respective communities and personal lives. As a former medical student, I feel that leadership in the medical community brings many opportunities for both students and the faculties involved. 

Students are the primary consumers of education, and all the decisions regarding medical education are made for the students to create better future doctors hence a better, healthier world. So, for many reasons, medical students know the importance of active involvement in the medical education system. They know what and where their educational curriculum can be improved.

In medical education, students are the roots, which, if given proper nourishment, can be grown into a fruitful trees so that these metaphorical trees of students can enrich the entire medical community and the world.As far as the commitment and motivation for engaging in these activities are concerned, many factors affect it. In a study, many students responded that their involvement had ‘opportunity costs’ in terms of foregoing other activities – including studying and non-educational pursuits. And in the same research, student leaders listed several actual benefits related to their active involvement in the learning community.

Informants noted that their experience with the Colleges program helped them to learn a better-defined sense of community with a broader exposure to other students and faculty, deeper mentoring relationships (both as a peer mentor and as mentee), the ability to learn or refine their own leadership skills, giving them additional insight about navigating within a large institution, and recognition – both informally from others and in being able to add their contribution to their curriculum vitae.2

Meaningfully engaging medical students as youth are vital because only one-way communication through higher authorities can’t make significant changes for the betterment of the education system. It takes two to tango. For these issues concerning meaningful youth engagement, United Nations launched Youth2030 in New York at a high-level event on 24th September 2018.

They listed five priorities in a defined order for evocative youth involvement.3 The present era of medical education goes beyond the traditional forms of student engagement. The term includes student participation in institutional governance and decision-making, curriculum development, provision of the educational program, as well as involvement with the academic and local communities.

Student engagement is not merely the creation of an environment that fosters academic excellence as has been the status quo. It is not adequate to create a tailored “academic curriculum” without considering the “experienced curriculum” by students.4,5

In summary, we can say that the youth have tremendous potential to offer innovative, conscious awareness to create a better world, and we, the youth in the medical community will be committed to creating a better, sustainable world by enthusiastically and meaningfully engaging in the medical education system!







About the author

Rajvi Chaudhary is a graduate of Medical College Baroda and SSG Hospital, India. She is a member of MSAI and IFMSA. She had worked as Covid Medical Officer at Civil Hospital, Mehsana. She is deeply passionate about writing healthcare-related messages to the general public through newspapers, magazines, and a variety of media. She also thinks writing for the general population is of tremendous responsibility and needs utmost care. Based on her own life experiences, she also wants to bring more awareness about how modifications in lifestyle, appropriate exercise, meditation, and diet bring positive change in everyone’s life, decreasing the chances of being physically and psychologically ill. She wants to get affiliated with research related to holistic medicine.

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