As an international student in my 6th year at the School of Medicine at European University Cyprus, just weeks away from graduation, the current corona pandemic carries all the implications the general public is worried about, such as: Will our families and friends back home be safe and healthy? Additionally, we as students, are of course, also worried about how we will be able to conclude our studies. However, the key question that occurred to me immediately after hearing that continuing our regular hospital training would not be possible as planned, was: Where could I be of help to the system? How can I, as a medical student in Cyprus, help the system, country and people, that, after all, are providing me with a high-quality medical education; a society that has been a ‘home away from home’ in all the years that I have spent studying here?
Studying medicine is obviously mostly about helping people. My understanding, and that of probably most of my fellow students, of our profession is that as a doctor, or even just as a medical student, you go where your services are needed and where people need a helping hand. For me, this not only includes medical assistance, but also any help that I can provide to ease the life of my fellow human beings. This is not only a typical trait of a medical student, but that of any empathic human who has been brought up to care about others in a humanistic way. For this I have my parents to thank as well as my teachers past and present.
Having undergone training as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Germany’s, my home country, rescue and civil defense system, hearing the news about coronavirus made it clear to me that hospitals would need additional manpower. Knowing that and wanting to be of service to my fellow human beings, volunteering to assist in any way needed seemed like the only plausible and decent action to me. Being a few weeks shy of graduating as doctors, there are only a few positions that we are able to fill in the current stage of the pandemic. However, going to the hospital and serving the community with what the medical system needs makes me proud and happy, as this is exactly why I have chosen to enter the medical field.
6th year Medical Student, EUC, School of Medicine