Is medical Erasmus misguided?
- By: Sarah Rollason
It has always been harder to justify an Erasmus placement (a European student exchange) for medical students compared with other degree courses. These exchanges make sense in courses that intuitively lend themselves to time abroad, in which arts and foreign language courses feature heavily. But, with no obvious benefits to be gleaned from studying in a hospital that happens to be in an iconic European city, medicine lacks a clear objective in its Erasmus mission statement.
When I left for my placement in Rome, everyone I spoke to was keen to expand on the social and cultural rather than academic benefits. As someone for whom international medicine holds no long term interest, you might ask why this imbalance mattered. Working abroad seemed like something that I’d do once during my elective, then leave in the “No” pile of potential careers, along with emergency medicine (too scary) and pathology (not scary