Students compete for new title of ‘Medicine Student of the Year'

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Students compete for new title of ‘Medicine Student of the Year’

This year, the title ‘Medicine Student of the Year’ will be awarded for the first time by the KNMG physicians’ federation and The Medicine Student Association. The purpose of the election is to increase the social involvement of medical students and to show that the study of medicine is not just about ‘CV building’ and getting good grades.

The doctor of the future

“Many students start their Medicine studies with the ambition to work in a hospital,” explains KNMG chairman René Héman. “But the number of workplaces there is limited and more and more doctors are working outside the hospital, without a ‘white coat’. The role of the doctor is therefore changing. The care issues and developments in society require more attention for themes such as prevention and healthy living. The doctor of the future will have to go outside the consulting room and look at the individual patient even more than is happening now.

Femke van de Zuidwind, chairman of The Medicine Student, adds: “The doctor of the future is at the heart of society and must keep an eye on social developments that affect public health. We want to use this prize to stimulate thinking about the doctor’s own role in this. We do this by giving recognition to students who invest in social initiatives.”

KNMG Student Award

More than forty students and doctors responded to the call and jointly nominated 32 inspiring entries for the KNMG Student Award, as the election is called. The jury selected the initiatives of fifth-year students Jeanne Arnold (22) and Yara Dixon (23), both from Erasmus University Rotterdam, and fourth-year student Coen Vulders (24) from Radboud University Nijmegen. These are the projects based on which the jury nominated them:

Desk Guide

Together with fellow students, Jeanne founded ‘Medicine Students In De Samenleving (GIDS)’. “In the Erasmus MC honors programme, medical students were able to provide information to low-literate people with diabetes. That was so instructive and inspiring that my fellow students Thomas and Ayça and I thought that every medical student should be given the opportunity to participate in a social project. You will discover how underlying factors such as poverty, low literacy or the living environment affect healthcare. That was the reason, together with our now deceased mentor, to set up an agency.” GIDS has now set up twelve social projects with and for students. Jeanne hopes that the initiative will now be followed in the rest of the Netherlands.

Menstrual problems

When Yara discovered how many shame and taboos there are still around heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB), she took action. “For my master’s thesis I did research on HMB. But it wasn’t until I heard women talk about the shame and taboos they face at an international conference that the subject really touched me. There is still a lot of ignorance, both among girls and their parents and among caregivers. While at least one in four women suffers from it.” She made an infographic – the HMB symptom checker – and translated it into English, Turkish and Arabic. Doctors use the infographic during consultations and women can also use it for a self-test. In addition, she has collaborated with student organization IFMSA-Rotterdam in a fundraising campaign for women with menstrual poverty (not enough money to buy tampons, sanitary towels, etc.) and she provided a cupboard with free menstrual products at her medical faculty.


During his depression Coen discovered that everyone needs recognition and recognition, but that no one shares their own experiences with mental problems. “The first two years of my medical studies flew by and I achieved good results. I saw my depression mainly as a bump in the road. I did notice during my treatment that I wanted to know how other young people dealt with their mental problems. Those stories weren’t there. When things got better for me, I decided to do something about it.” Coen started the Open Book Nijmegen foundation. He organized a first symposium in which two young people with depression shared their personal experiences. That was a success. Furthermore, as a youth representative, in the context of the CJP’s #standforsomething campaign, he also asks European policymakers to pay more attention to the prevention of mental health problems among young people.


Jury members of the KNMG Student Award 2021 are René Héman (chairman of the KNMG medical federation), Femke van de Zuidwind (chairman of The Medicine Student), Angela Maas (cardiologist and the first professor of cardiology for women in the Netherlands) and Aura Timen (doctor of society and health – specialized in infectious disease control – and head of the Center for National Coordination of Infectious Disease Control (RIVM).

The winner of the KNMG Student Prize will receive a cash prize of 5,000 euros. Everyone can vote until November 7. KNMG chairman René Héman will present the prize on 10 November.

By: National Education Guide
Image: KNMG Student Award/ Team GIDS

Students compete for new title of ‘Medicine Student of the Year’
Source link Students compete for new title of ‘Medicine Student of the Year’

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