ESMO-ESO Course on Medical Oncology for Medical Students Valencia 2019: Best Students 2018

Christoph Gerdes and Rita Carvalho, the winners of the 2018 ‘Best Student’ Award in Valencia, talk about their experience at the ESMO-ESO Course on Medical Oncology for Medical Students.

What was your main reason for applying to join the course?

I considered the ESMO-ESO Course a valuable opportunity to broaden my knowledge in medical oncology and to network, share ideas and best practices with physicians and other international students.

Rita Carvalho, Portugal

What was your take home message from the five days?

Christoph Gerdes

Although the latest available treatments can substantially increase the overall and disease-free survival, we must remember not to focus on extending patients’ life alone, but also on improving their quality of life and providing them effective palliation of symptoms. Moreover, the course emphasized the importance of a multidisciplinary team in order to ensure best practice.

Rita Carvalho, Portugal and Christoph Gerdes, Germany

Why are you interested in medical oncology?

Rita Carvalho

What fascinates me the most about oncology is the challenge. Unlike other specialties, oncologists have not yet found an answer to most diagnoses and what works for one patient might not work for another. In addition, being a systemic disease, it may present itself clinically in every possible way and put to the test the knowledge acquired not only in oncology but also in all other medical fields. On the other hand, given the seriousness of the disease and its impact on the society, it is also very rewarding to witness the resilience and strength of patients and their families.

Rita Carvalho, Portugal

How do you feel about having a professional society, such as ESMO, supporting you in your professional development?

I believe that ESMO’s support is crucial for students’ success throughout their careers. ESMO offers in fact many learning opportunities, such as acquiring international experiences in other healthcare systems, and online resources to keep you up to date. This course motivated me to continue my medical oncology education and training.

Rita Carvalho, Portugal and Christoph Gerdes, Germany

Would you recommend this course and why?

This course is an extraordinary experience and I strongly recommend it to other medical students interested in oncology. The course encourages gaining further knowledge in this medical field as a result of its high-quality lectures given by international experts and interactive workshops. Moreover, it is an outstanding possibility to connect with professors and students from all over the world in an exciting atmosphere. I really enjoyed this well-organised course by ESMO!

Christoph Gerdes, Germany