Keep An Eye on The Alistair Fielder Prize by Ms Aline Derlagen
From the day I found out I could attend and participate in the Pantheo congress I was excited. As working at Pantheo some years ago as a curious social scientist was the catalyst for me perusing medicine, I thought this would be a great opportunity to come back to the people who had first inspired me to make this decision and work with them, now as a medical student. Moreover, the challenge seemed to be a nice addition to the everyday ebb and flow of the medical school. It gave me the chance to learn something which wasn’t neatly contained within the pages of books.
The start of the process was somewhat daunting. I was given a topic I had no prior knowledge on, and knew I had to deliver something good in the allotted time. What saved me was the constant support and guidance of the Pantheo team, always there to help whenever I found any difficulty – from the layout of the poster, to understanding general concepts. One of the most unique elements of the preparatory process was that I got the chance of meeting the patient. With the guidance and invaluable suggestions from the Pantheo team, and being equipped with the personal narrative of the patient, the project really took on its final form. It was very gratifying to see how it progressed and evolved as the weeks passed along.
The congress itself was very interesting. The two days were filled with guest speakers who were leaders in their field. Even so, many of them seemed excited to share their knowledge with the medical students who were there taking the time to answer questions and explain things so that we could all learn. Even the talks where I knew nothing about, I left feeling I had managed to acquire something which I could take back with me. Generally, there was a very professional, yet friendly feeling to the whole congress which really humanized the event, and makes me really want to go back again for as long as I possibly can.
I just wanted to finish this by saying that this would not have been possible without the help and support of the Pantheo team, the patience from my friends, and the endless encouragement of my parents. I am sure I will bring the lessons and experiences I gained from the project and the congress with me into my own medical practice.