VU medicine no longer praises: ‘Too much emphasis on performance’ –

Julia van den Oever, a fifth-year medical student, admits that the pressure to perform is high among students. He is a board member of The Medicine Student, an organization that represents the interests of approximately 15,000 medical students in the Netherlands.

Last August, the association drew up a memorandum setting out the advantages and disadvantages of abolishing the cum laude title. “At that time there was a discussion going on at the VU. So we wrote this to support student councils.”

“Numbers don’t make the best doctors”

One possible argument against removing outstanding performance is that the system can be used to see who really stands out. Van den Oever: “But that number does not always make the best doctors.”

De Roos: “There are still many opportunities for us to distinguish ourselves. This can be done in a different way than just focusing on numbers. This can be done, for example, by sitting on a board or voluntarily during a study.”

“Investigating Underlying Problems”

Like De Roos, Van den Oever can imagine that other universities will adopt the VU’s decision to study medicine. “But you also have to deal with the pressure to perform in a different way and look at the underlying problems.”

There are other good ways for medical students to relieve the pressure, he says. According to his organization’s research, interns work an average of 54 hours per week, compared to an average of 46 hours per week for the guide.

“Students feel the need to do their best and stay longer. It would be nice if universities made this clear: watch your hours.” In her opinion, hospitals should also communicate further that a longer stay is not the goal and does not automatically lead to a better evaluation.

Source: NOS