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Saturday, July 13, 2024

The Transformative Value of Medical Student Exchange Programs

Gacor – The medical student exchange program is a full educational program offering clerkships to medical students abroad. In this program, medical students from various parts of the world travel to another country to observe and join another country’s medical student program. Additionally, student exchange programs allow many students to immerse themselves in the cultural experience of many countries, giving them another depth of perspective to the world. Students’ activities usually include observing doctors and medical students during outpatient clinics or wards. Not only that, students will have multiple hands-on experience such as assisting operations. IFMSA itself has over 50 years of experience in organizing exchanges, with over 13,000 students joining annually.

There are multiple reasons why I think all medical students should join an exchange program. It is an experience one shouldn’t ever miss. Firstly, the clinical experience gained during exchange programs is very valuable. Interacting with patients of different backgrounds and working with foreign doctors, and/or foreign health workers will sharpen our communication skills. Surprisingly, many past exchange participants’ first moments of working in a hospital occurred during their exchange program. Who knows, there could be a high chance that you stumble upon operations, or a disease that you will never find in Indonesia. Secondly, without a doubt the exchange program will give us the opportunity to learn about many countries’ cultures, people and most importantly, their food! Learning and experiencing other cultures is not only fun, but very beneficial for us. Interacting with foreign medical students and doctors is inevitable but that’s great. It is an opportunity to practice our communication skills and English proficiency. This is also a great opportunity to share what we think of each other’s country’s medical system and we can all learn so much. Lastly, it is totally true that exchanges can be pretty hard. Living in a foreign country is difficult, let alone trying to study and work in it. This is an opportunity to increase our self-esteem and confidence, in other words, exchange is the perfect way for personal growth!

Remarkably, there are several studies that point out the massive benefits of exchange for medical students. A paper published in Nepal in 2020 mentioned that international exposure not only improved their clinical diagnostic and communication skills, but also changed world views, increased cultural sensitivity, enhanced community, social, and public health awareness, and appropriate resource utilization, thus ultimately making them better doctors. This paper mentioned that almost 96% of the students recommended international health electives to other students (Thapa, 2020).

During this age of pandemic, we are also reminded of the importance of global health. In which international cooperation and collaboration play a vital role in tackling this pandemic. Not only that, COVID-19 has also taught us that the next generation of doctors must be aware of how globalization and the global environment affect a nation’s healthcare. Medical exchange programs are an excellent gateway for medical students to be more concerned and involved in global health.

So overall, a medical exchange program will provide you with uncountable lessons, experience and friends. Also, as far as global health is concerned, it is not only beneficial for you but also for the university and the nation. Yes, exchange might be a little bit scary and difficult. But I promise you, it will be worth every single risk by CIMSA UPH!

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