Four reasons to join student organisations at medical school | Top Universities
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Four reasons to join student organisations at medical school

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Baurzhan Irisbayev

Updated Jul 04, 2022
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Medical students connect round a laptop

Studying at medical school is complex. Medical students spend most of our time attending classes, memorising educational materials, visiting libraries and putting our learning into practice in hospitals and medical settings.  

While studying medicine can be intense, it’s important to take a break and get involved in other things outside of your studies. One way I’ve worked to prevent burnout and make the most of my university experience is by joining student organisations.  

Student organisations are a great way to make new friends, have fun and to develop new skills that can help you in your studies too. Here’s four reasons to join a student organisation as a medical student:  

Develop more advanced skills  

At the JSC South Kazakhstan Medical School, where I study, we have specialised communities that allow medical students to network and work together to gain new skills.  

The Kazakhstan Medical Student Association (KazMSA) is a branch of the International Federation of Medical Students (IFMSA) and has helped me to acquire more in-depth knowledge about the medical industry than I’d learn on my course alone.  

As part of this organisation, I set up training seminars on reproductive health for undergraduate students and the public. I had to study this topic in detail and had to answer questions from the audience. I’ve also attended talks by other students and medical professionals as part of KazMSA which means I’ve gained even more insight into working in medicine.  

I’m also a member of the Biologist Club and a volunteering club. Being a part of these groups outside of my classroom means that I’m learning beyond the curriculum and putting my learning into practice with others on my course.  

Learn to interact with people 

When working as a medical professional, people skills are hugely important. From helping patients to working with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, there are always people to interact with and working as a team means finding the best solution for your patients.  

Joining student organisations gave me a great opportunity to engage with people I wouldn’t normally speak to. I learned how to work in a team and even how to lead others when organising and participating in activities. 

In Biologist Club, I participated in scientific research where we had to delegate tasks; someone researched facts, some engaged in statistical calculations, others wrote reports. Over time, I began to show leadership qualities, to offer new ideas and motivate others. 

Help other people  

Having joined the volunteer club at my university, I’ve had a wonderful opportunity to help people. In particular, I provided both ordinary and medical assistance to people who could not visit hospitals including people with a disability, and low-income families with many children, where parents could not afford going to the doctor.  

I was able to use my medical skills to provide care from home, giving injections and advice on how to get better. Volunteering has given me additional experience as a medical professional and has allowed me to work with people I might not usually come across on a work placement. 

Make new connections 

Joining student organisations is a great way to meet new people. I met new students and teachers at my university through student organisations. It helps me to learn different perspectives and gain knowledge in areas where I feel I’m weaker than others.   

In many countries, including Kazakhstan, medicine is becoming commercialised, so having strong connections is crucial to finding a good job after your studies. Getting to know medical professionals from other areas of healthcare will help to build a good network of people who can recommend you in the future.  

Being a part of medical-focused student organisations has given me my first taste of consulting with others on clinical problems. As a medical graduate, I’ll be able to make use of other people’s knowledge and perspectives to make important decisions.  

Joining student organisations has been a big part of my time as a student doctor and have given me skills and knowledge beyond the classroom. Find out what organisations are available at your university or set up your own.