My name is Philip Thermaenius and reads the eighth semester at Umeå University. Last spring IFMSA had a lunch lecture on disaster medicine for us and tipped as a course to be held in Portugal. Having just read surgery, prehospital care and anesthesia, it felt very alluring topic. Said and done so I applied for the course and got a seat. Course management (which can often be hard to absence during school hours) were in favor of this because they saw that it was a topic they are not trained in, which can be worth mentioning if you decide to apply for the course.
The first week of August, I took, together with a classmates, flight to Portugal to begin training. I've never been on a IFMSA-training so I did not really know what I had to wait for me. The only thing I knew was basically what the course was about, it was close to Lisbon, and it was about 80 pieces of international medical students who would be there. When we landed had T4All (the local organization) organized a bus for all to take in the afternoon from the airport but when we arrived early, we took an Uber out to the destination. It was a hostel which was right on the sea half an hour north of Lisbon, Oeiras. Once there we were met by some of the organizers, led by Joanna, an incredibly charismatic person who met us with a big smile. When we were first on the scene with about four hours we went to the beach to enjoy a bit of sun before the hectic week would launch.
In the afternoon, the rest of the gang. We moved directly to the pool area where we would launch. I encountered my two supervisors, Tanya and Andreia. Tanay was from India and Andreia from Portugal. I was immediately a good sense of these and the rest of the gang. The evening was organized some games and dancing for everyone involved and it went quickly to create new acquaintances.
The next morning, took the course started. It was a school that was near the hostel where we had proper classrooms for teaching. The arrangement of course was that the first two days to go through the theory of disaster medicine and even some global health and how they interact and then use this handy in two simulations the last two days. The course itself is hard to summarize but we walked among others. through how to practically structures both an incident site after a disaster and a hospital in the preliminary order. We even went through a lot of the structure of the aid organizations and the United Nations which I think was incredibly interesting as Andreia, our instructor, was very familiar and burned to the topic. I'm not going to line up everything we learned then, but according to me was the arrangement of course exactly what I had hoped for, a basic understanding of the structure and organization of a disaster should be managed both theoretically and practically, as well as an insight into the global perspective.
The social program for the evening was incredibly well done. We were divided into different teams on the first day, these were not the same team we had classes, but gave us an opportunity to get to know even more people. It carried out various competitions in the evenings and the opportunity to dance and go to a nearby bar. The evenings were long and sleep-weighted but it was totally worth it! The third evening, an international matfest where each country had to provide food from their culture. Because of lack of space in the trunk, Sweden contributed Pick & Mix, schnapps and chocolate balls but it was estimated! It was amazing to taste homemade food and drinks from the various countries and the evening was fantastic fine! At the end of the week it was announced the winner of the competitions that had been during the week and it turned out to be my team winning. I can not really take the credit for profit but it was still great fun!
What can not be forgotten to mention is how many great people I met from other countries and cultures and how we are all fighting for the same goal but that one role that students can look quite different depending on where you educate themselves. I am happy to say that I now have more friends from other countries and I definitely think if you get the opportunity to go on an international course, ta den.
Filip Thermaenius – 2018-10-08