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Medical student comes out top in two locations

In June three University of Leicester medical students went to the International Student Congress in Holland. Whilst there they presented work completed as part of an intercalated BSc. They all had a fantastic time. One of them - Amit Shah - won a first prize of 1,8000 euros for the best presentation. A diary of his three days in Holland follows. Amit has just completed his intercalated BSc, for which he was awarded a first-class degree.

Sandeep, Ronak and I arrived in Amsterdam on June 11.

We were very pleased that we had been chosen to present our work at this international meeting.
[Photo: Winners, International Student Congress 2003]

On arrival in Groningen, I was surprised to see so many cyclists as I was unaware that this was most common form of transport. On the first day of the conference a rehearsal had been organised to enable presenters to have a chance to practice on stage and so that we could receive some tips from professors on the organising committee. 

Later we had the opportunity to meet the other international student delegates. This was the first time that international students had been invited and over 70 were present. Since 1994, there has been an annual Student Congress of Medicine.

[Photo: International Student Congress in progress]

The next day, Thursday, was the main day of the conference and, from the ten presenters, I had been chosen to give the closing presentation. The first five presentations were very good, with a diverse range of scientific studies being presented. 

As the last speaker of the day, I felt nervous, as I reckoned that the audience must be tired of listening by now. At the start I imagined I was standing in Lecture Theatre 1 in the Medical Sciences Building, making a MEDSOC announcement. This helped, the audience seemed to appreciate my injection of a little humour, and the ten minutes went by very quickly.   [Photo: Amit Shah]
Amit Shah

As I stood waiting for questions from the audience, I felt a sense of satisfaction and knew that I had done my best. Winning the award - which is to be spent on a conference of my choice - was a marvellous moment and I felt like a celebrity for the remaining time there.

The committee were very welcoming and made us feel at home. We were shown what it is like to be a student in Groningen and we also had a taste of Groningen night life. It is compulsory for their medical students to undertake some form of research, and the majority opt to undertake this abroad. I felt that I learned a lot about their life. 

I'm convinced that this experience is a valuable one, and for me it was truly positive. I would highly recommend it to any future intercalated BSc students, and would like to see this opportunity made more widely available. 

Amit Shah

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Last updated: 7 July 2003 15:55
Created by: Barbara Whiteman

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