by George Sycallides, Director, Communications Office
Last August, the Medical School’s Mobile Clinic had the chance to travel… to Switzerland. The Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) had accepted the abstract for a mounted poster presentation titled ‘Mobile Clinic: Connecting medical students and the community’ for its international conference held in Basel, Switzerland between 25 and 29 August 2018. The abstract was submitted by four members of the Medical School – two medical students, Ioannis Balanos and William Verbist, and two staff-members, Professor Peter McCrorie and Mr George Sycallides.
The two students, Ioannis and William, travelled to Basel to present the poster.
“Representing the University of Nicosia Mobile Clinic at the AMEE conference in Basel, Switzerland was an amazing experience. Basel itself is a beautiful city and it set a very welcoming scene. At the conference, we were surrounded by many medical professionals from around the world taking part in countless other projects and research in medical education.
We had the chance to meet individuals from other medical schools and hear other great ideas– it was an atmosphere where broadening our horizons was encouraged. We presented the mobile clinic in a session in front of other AMEE participants and it was well-received. The audience asked some questions afterwards and they were intrigued by the mobile clinic initiative.
I felt very lucky to have this opportunity to present and represent the mobile clinic in Switzerland, especially as the Mobile Clinic Club President. While doing so, maybe we inspired other medical schools for such an initiative as well. I have really enjoyed taking part in the mobile clinic as a student so far and encourage my fellow students to participate.”
“Being part of the 2018 AMEE conference in Basel and having the opportunity to present our school’s mobile clinic was an experience of its own kind! The conference gathered more than 3,000 participants from 92 countries, all having as a common goal to improve the medical education system, whether at local, national or international level. From the excitement of having our abstract accepted, to the preparation of the poster and to the absolutely exhilarating week of the conference itself, each step of the way was one to enjoy and learn from.
Our mobile clinic poster was a great success and gained a lot of interest judging from the number of questions we received at the end of our presentation! What I really enjoyed was a few personal interactions that I had with some of the world’s most passionate medical educationalists. The generosity with which they offered help, elaborating on medical education options and explaining possibilities and opportunities was amazing.
So, overall the AMEE 2018 conference, for me, wasn’t a regular academic event, from which I will go home with nothing other than knowledge. It was way more than that. It was a unique experience where I learned, I networked and, most importantly, I was inspired”.
The University of Nicosia Medical School is one of the few, if not the only one, in Europe which operates a Mobile Clinic. It was launched in 2013, and since then more than 60 expeditions have been organised throughout the country. From blood pressure, glucose, body mass index and spirometry tests to electrocardiograms, ophthalmic, dermatological and gynaecological examinations, the clinic has so far provided free diagnostic tests to more than 3,500 plus people, including the elderly, refugees and asylum seekers, as well as the general public during charity events. Also, the Mobile Clinic is active in health promotion by organising talks to high schools for the presentation of issues of concern to teenagers such as smoking, eating disorders and sexual health, while academic staff offer volunteer counselling services to both governmental and non-governmental organisations that promote important health issues such as vaccinations and breastfeeding.