“I’m coming back with new ideas to develop so students in the Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine can continue to grow and learn”

A student in the School of Biomedical and Health Sciences took a training residency at Yale University over the summer

Yale University organizes an intensive course every May and July, through the Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute in Bioethics, for American and international students taking Bachelor’s Degrees and Graduate Degrees. The latest one was attended by Jose María Alonso de los Santos, a 4th-year student in the Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine at the Universidad Europea.

Alonso and the other students were immersed in a program of theory and practical seminars on bioethics. Every day, the students dealt with a series of ethical matters and conflicts in modern medicine (genetic counseling, transplant ethics, abortion, euthanasia, communicating with patients, and so on). Alonso also had the opportunity to visit leading medical centers, such as the Mount Sinai Genetic Testing Laboratory, the neonatal UCI at Yale New Haven Hospital, and the prestigious bioethics research institute, the Hastings Center.

Among the students there were awards for the best presentation of a final paper, which Alonso won. His work focused on the current problem of dehumanized medicine. Alonso’s subject was inspired by his personal experience during his clinical internship, when he began to wonder if patients were being asked the right questions, which are vital for the therapeutic approach. “In the presentation, I tried to provide solutions to reduce the obvious lack of connection between what some doctors teach and what they really do,” Alonso comments.

At the end of the course, Alonso emphasized that the Yale University summer school “is a good opportunity to develop this type of idea, which can be difficult to explain in a medicine class, in an unbeatable multicultural environment with magnificent students and professors.” Also, “apart from the award for my final paper, it was the personal experience, getting to know and work with people from different countries and with the same interests, which was the best thing I got from Yale,” Alonso tells us.