Ivan Zamorano

Acupunture Treatment

Medicine at Maastricht University


Hi, we’re here, in the hall
of the Maastricht UMC+. Behind me is the Faculty
of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. That’s where medical students learn
the basics. And here, in the hospital,
they meet their first real patients.Grey’s Anatomy, Code Black.Do you also enjoy binge watching
four episodes in an evening, seeing interns performing the toughest
operations with minimal equipment? Wonderful to watch. But we hope these series aren’t
why you’re interested in a Bachelor of Medicine. Because what you see in those series
is a far cry from reality. Let’s first talk about the programme itself. How do you become a doctor?
How many years do you need to study? Judith Sieben, programme coordinator
of the Bachelor of Medicine, can tell you exactly. The medical programme in Maastricht
prepares you to be a basic doctor. Or course, there are many kinds
of medical doctor. The medical programme offers
the basic training. It takes six years: a three-year bachelor’s,
three-year master’s. Then, you’re a basic doctor,
after which you can train further to become a specialist. Okay. So, that’s six years of university,
and then a few more years in practice. Doing a specialisation. For example,
three extra years if you want to be a GP, or six extra years
if you want to be a surgeon. That’s a lot more study
than in other programmes. You probably knew that,
but it’s good to hear it again. But what do you actually learn
in those six years at university? The programme covers various areas. As a doctor, it’s important
for you to be knowledgeable about, for example, anatomy
and how the body works. Pathology and learning skills
in the Skillslab. Is it only about knowledge? Everyone wants a doctor
who is also good with people. That’s why we also devote
a lot of attention to good communication skills. How should you talk to a patient? How should you explain to someone
what is going on? For example, how do you handle
difficult conversations? But also, things like teamwork are crucial. Later, as a doctor, you won’t work alone, but you’ll have to work in teams
with other professionals. You practise all of that in the programme,
from day one. Academic skills are part of the programme. Doctors have to know,
for all the tests they can do, for example, a certain blood test, how it works, what exactly it measures
and what the test is worth. What you can conclude from it,
and what you can’t. And how you can translate all kinds
of medical tests to your own patients. Those are also
important parts of this programme. That’s a lot to take in. So, in Maastricht you’re not
in a lecture hall for hours every day, listening to professors, to then go to the University Library
to cram all that in your head. No, of course not. Because in Maastricht, you learn
through Problem-Based Learning, PBL. Medical student Kayleigh explains
exactly how this works. What it involves is, every week, sitting down with a group of 10 students
and a tutor. You discuss a patient case. A tutor is present and keeps an eye
on whether what we looked up is correct, and whether we’re handling
the thing that’s important at that time. You’re actively engaging with the material,
which helps you remember it much better. It works well for me. I notice that I remember it much better
if I’ve looked it up myself. Then you discuss it with each other,
as well. That’s something that really stands out. That’s how you master the theory. But how do you learn the skills you need
to practise medicine? Arlette, you’re a medical student. Could you tell us about
your experiences in the Skillslab? What I like, or find interesting, is mostly that we can combine
practice and theory. So, if we’re studying circulation
and respiration, we practise with stethoscopes to look at the physiology of the heart. So, that makes a programme like Medicine,
which has to be so theoretical at first, very tangible. So, the Skillslab makes
medical students happy. They start to feel like doctors, and they can find out
exactly how the human body works. During the programme,
they also practise on simulated patients. A patient, played by an actor,
comes in for a consultation, with a sprained ankle
or a bad stomach ache, for example. And then the student can talk tothe
patient,examine him and make a diagnosis. Good preparation for the real work. In the third year,
the students get to enter the hospital, in a white doctor’s coat. Finally. Then you go to the hospital. Under a doctor’s supervision,
you finally see a real patient, someone who’s come to the hospital. You do the consultation,
followed by the doctor. You go over everything,
and you can also do the examination. At the end, you get feedback
from the doctor about how you did. So, every week, you go
to another part of the hospital, so you pick up a little bit of everything
and learn a lot. So you learn a lot, practise a lot,
see a lot. I can imagine that, as a medical student, you
may lose sight of everything you need to know or what your strengths and weaknesses are,
and that sometimes you need to reflect. Each student is guided by a mentor. A mentor is one of the staff members
from the faculty or the hospital. They help the student
with the study process. A number of times a year,
you have a meeting with your mentor. Together, you discuss, for example,
the progress of your studies. You look at what’s going well
and why you’re good at that. You also look at what’s going less well
and where you may need some extra help. That way, we hope to flag problems
in your studies early or, if all goes well,
even to prevent them. Although this is a large programme, a lot
of attention is paid to personal guidance. So, we’ve got Problem-Based Learning,
the Skillslab and the programme is very practical. Are there other things that make
the programme in Maastricht special? I’m very internationally inclined. I come from Latin America,
so it would be great for me to keep going in an international direction, for example, if I could do
my internship abroad. So, you can choose whether you stay in
the Netherlands for the normal internships, but you can also go abroad
for certain internships, like elective internships. So, the programme is
also very international. Are you already certain that you’d
like to roam the world as a doctor? Do you see yourself working
in a clinic in South America, having a practice in Spain
or working for Doctors Without Borders? Then the International Track in Medicine
may be for you. It’s actually the same programme,
but in English. Thank you for watching,
and I hope to see you in Maastricht.

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