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4th European Medical Students’ Council 4ème Conseil Européen des Etudiants en Médecine 4. Europäischer Rat der Medizinstudierenden

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Information about EMS Council 4 Heidelberg, 30 May – 03 June 2007

European Medical Students’ Association (EMSA)

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European Medical Students’ Council (EMS Council)

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Main theme of EMS Council 4: Information to patients

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EMS Council 4 EMS Council is initiated by:

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30 May – 03 June 2007 EMS Council 4 is supported by:

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Heidelberg, Germany

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www.emscouncil4.org


4th European Medical Students’ Council 4ème Conseil Européen des Etudiants en Médecine 4. Europäischer Rat der Medizinstudierenden

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The European Medical Students’ Association The European Medical Students’ Association (EMSA) seeks to improve the health and quality of care of the citizens of Europe, by acting as a conduit for increased interaction and sharing of knowledge between European medical students in the fields of medical education, ethics and science. EMSA currently has active Faculty Member Organisations in 22 countries across geographical Europe and is also proud to have working collaborations with many other institutions, including the CPME – or the Standing Committee of European Doctors; EMSA’s headquarter in Brussels is based in the CPME office. EMSA’s activities have further been endorsed by the European Commission in 2005.

EMS Council The idea All over Europe there are students’ associations that work actively at a local level defending the interest of their students, but we have never had a European body voicing the concerns and defending the rights of European Medical Students. Three years ago EMSA, the European Medical Students’ Association, started the EMS Council in London. One of EMSA’s most important aims with this project is to improve the cooperation and communication within the medical students in Europe. In this article you can read all about the two meetings held in the past, namely the London meeting in August 2004, the Warsaw meeting in February 2005 and the Albufeira meeting in January 2006. The goals of EMS Council One of EMS Council’s most important aims with this project is to improve the cooperation and communication within the medical students in Europe. The EMS Council main objectives are: - Represent the interests and opinions of the medical students in geographical Europe. - Discuss and form joint policies on issues surrounding medical students. - Defend the rights and interest of medical students across Europe. EMS Council 1, London (2004) The meeting focused mainly on the Bachelor/Master structure of the Bologna Process and how it may be applied to Medical Education. But the first EMSA council meeting also took on other important European issues such as the European Working Time Directive, EU enlargement implications on medical profession and the European Commission paper on the evaluation of non-formal education. It was attended by national student organizations, from various countries across Europe, but also had the participation of some important externals that contributed greatly to the discussion of the various issues taken on during the meeting. One of these distinguished guests was Professor Wolfang Gertz, from the Zurich University of Medicine, a reference in the discussion of the Bologna Process.

EMS Council 4 EMS Council is initiated by:

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30 May – 03 June 2007 EMS Council 4 is supported by:

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Heidelberg, Germany

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www.emscouncil4.org


4th European Medical Students’ Council 4ème Conseil Européen des Etudiants en Médecine 4. Europäischer Rat der Medizinstudierenden

th

EMS Council 2, Warsaw (2005) The goal of the 2nd EMS Council meeting was to determine what it is that we as medical students need in order to protect the patient. What do we need to know? What do we need to learn? What do we need to be able to do or perform? What should be included in a medical school’s core curriculum on Patient Safety? The outcomes were organised into seven categories. Each describes the competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) that a newly graduated medical doctor can be expected to demonstrate. The newly graduated doctor can: - Prioritise the patient - Awareness of patient safety and the intention to improve - Learn for error - Attitude and character - Team and communication - Stress management - Guidelines and protocol Also, the Council argues that opting out of the European Working Time Directive should not be an option, as it may prompt financial, social and/or peer pressure. Opting out would not in any way benefit the worthy aims of the guidelines, since it would only undermine its recommendations. EMS Council 3, Albufeira (2006) As the main theme of the EMS Council 3rd Meeting was “Medical Students’ Rights” participants debated about special facilities universities have to offer their medical students concerning the specific and additional stresses they have to face during their studies. Some examples of the stresses future doctors will meet are the workload, career choices and safety and security. In the workshops the participants talked for example about the welfare and support medical students should expect from their faculty.

EMS Council 4 EMS Council is initiated by:

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30 May – 03 June 2007 EMS Council 4 is supported by:

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Heidelberg, Germany

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www.emscouncil4.org


4th European Medical Students’ Council 4ème Conseil Européen des Etudiants en Médecine 4. Europäischer Rat der Medizinstudierenden

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Main theme of EMS Council 4 Information to patients Goals To inform European medical students about a topic that is currently being discussed on an international level and that affects all our future careers. Information to patients (ITP) is a broad topic. Our goal is to inform our student representatives on this pipeline issue, to collect information concerning the current status of the different Member States when it comes to ITP, and, if possible, create a document that states the gathered opinion of the European Medical Students. Who are we trying to reach The European Commission (more specifically DG SANCO), patients and students of Europe, teachers, health-care providers, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, representatives of the Member States and all other stakeholders involved in developing a platform for Information to Patients within Member Sates and within the Union. Why ITP? Many argue that the European Union needs to take an active stand when it comes to providing information to patients across the union. The basis of this argument rests on two different pillars. One is rights-based, i.e. the patient has the right to adequate information on his/her health-status, current medication and implications of different treatments etc. The other pillar which supports improved ITP is the many benefits of the informed patient. The informed patient will have a greater knowledge of his/her health status and that in return will have a positive effect on his/her lifestyle. The Informed Patient eats more fish, goes to the gym more often, and avoids smoking. He/She is also well informed on different options of treatments. This will lead to great compliance when, for instance, a prescription has been made. Even if the patient would choose a more expensive treatment than is the standard, the effect of this treatment will be greater and thus the long-term expense smaller. The Informed Patient will make Europe altogether healthier and this health will come at a smaller expense than today’s malaise. In a Community with an ageing population this is a highly relevant issue. Public opinion research in 2003 revealed that the main source of health information for a large percentage (45%) of EU citizens are healthcare professionals, doctors, pharmacists and nurses, with print media cited by about 20%, television about 20%, discussions with family and friends about 5% and the Internet about 3.5% (European Union Citizens and Sources of Information about Health, Eurobarometer 58.0, The European Opinion Research Group, March 2003). Cutting across nearly all information sources are problems of unequal access due to age, disability, language barriers, culture, the “digital divide” and limited economic resources, particularly in the Central and Eastern new EU Member States.

EMS Council 4 EMS Council is initiated by:

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30 May – 03 June 2007 EMS Council 4 is supported by:

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Heidelberg, Germany

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www.emscouncil4.org


4th European Medical Students’ Council 4ème Conseil Européen des Etudiants en Médecine 4. Europäischer Rat der Medizinstudierenden

th

ITP and medical students Why is ITP important for the EMS Council to discuss? Simply, because Europe is our labour market. The patients of Europe are our future patients. And 45% of their gathered knowledge will, in the current situation, be gathered from us and our colleagues. The future burden of Europe’s health and ill-health will rest upon our shoulders. We must ask ourselves: -

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How prepared are we students to in the future inform our patients? How can tomorrow’s doctors improve and aid in creating the Informed Patient? How can the EU improve ITP throughout the community? Does it need to? Shall it be the responsibility of the EU or of the individual member states? Is the demand for better information driven by genuine public opinion or by the pharmaceutical industry and/or politicians? Can the pharmaceutical industry differentiate between marketing and information, and thus be a reliable partner in creating partnerships? What incentives exist or can be created to encourage all relevant stakeholders to participate in public-private health information partnerships? On what level can medical students participate in informing patients and in the making of a health information partnership?

Preparing for the meeting In preparing for this meeting, the Agenda Committee (AC) will ask each participant to discuss the questions stated previously in their national board. By the end of this document you will find a list of literature on ITP. Feel free to share this in your national setting. Then, try to learn more about the status of ITP in your own country. There are a few questions that the AC would like you to bring the answers to: -

Does the curriculum at your medical faculty contain any courses on communication skills, and/or how to best communicate information to your patient? Do your country and/or medical association have any policies drawn up on the ITP subject? Does any sort of database or platform for patient information exist in your country? Where does your patient generally receive information?

EMS Council 4 EMS Council is initiated by:

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30 May – 03 June 2007 EMS Council 4 is supported by:

|

Heidelberg, Germany

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www.emscouncil4.org


EMS Council 4 Info booklet