EDU’s medical degree and its future prospects – Interview with Dean Prof. Buhre

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With the COVID-19 pandemic slowly showing signs of coming to an end, the world is being asked once again to return to normal. But normality may present some changes in different industries, and perhaps more prominently in the field of education.  

As various studies have been reporting for the last year, the coronavirus pandemic changed education globally in a drastic manner. With that, schools, colleges, universities, governments, among others, have had to find ways to offer some level of online learning instead–a challenging task for traditional learning centres. 

This is where EDU stands out. EDU is an online medical degree programme that was developed prior to the COVID-19 outbreak–one could say it was ahead of its time. Its DNA is comprised of online learning since day one. This has resulted in a finely tuned, well-developed online curriculum and programme for those interested in pursuing a medical career, through a completely new and modernized setting. 

Recently, EDU sat down with Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang F. Buhre, dean of EDU’s Faculty of Medicine and Health, and discussed his perspectives on the potential of a programme such as EDU’s. Prof. Buhre holds extensive experience not only as a board certified physician in Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Medicine, but also in academics; he is the director and founding chair for Maastricht’s University Medical Centre (MUMC) for Acute and Critical Care Medicine (Netherlands), professor of Anaesthesiology within MUMC’s Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, and also chair for the Research Mentorship Program within the European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care in Brussels, Belgium. 

EDU: What do you believe EDU can contribute to medical education?  

Prof. Buhre: Well, for me, EDU is a big step forward. Because first of all, I am also working in Maastricht. Maastricht was one of the universities–probably the first one–which implemented problem-based learning. EDU brings that to another level. This because of the availability of the digital curriculum, which allows us to work together with students and the tutors on very remote locations. We can offer them a much broader range of teaching hospitals than any other university, combined with a high qualitative curriculum. 

EDU: How has medical education changed since you’ve done your studies? 

Prof. Buhre: I am very happy that it has changed a lot. When I started studying medicine, it was one professor and a couple of students around him and he talks, and we are listening. What changed substantially now is that there is much more interaction. So the concept of a tutor and a small group of students working together, ideally with the patient, is one of the biggest achievements we did in the last years. I am extremely happy that EDU is at the forefront of this development. 

EDU: Would you study with EDU if you could go back in time?  

Prof. Buhre: For sure! I would choose a university like EDU, which allows me to start very early, in combination between clinical practical and theoretical background. I think this is the most optimal study we can offer for potential and actual medical students at the moment. 

As Prof. Buhre argues, EDU offers an innovative, tailored degree. Students are taught online in small groups, and are offered extensive support from faculty, mentors, and tutors, as well as ample resources to complement their learning. In addition, they are given a unique opportunity to start clinical rotations early on in their programme, commencing on their 10th week of each module. Thus, students at EDU gain extensive practical knowledge from an early stage in their training, further preparing them to become qualified health care professionals.  

Prof. Buhre additionally shared with EDU about important qualities and motivations for those pursuing a career in medicine.  

EDU: What are the qualities that physicians today and physicians in the future should embody? 

Prof. Buhre: First of all, I think most of the students’ triggers when they start medicine is the wish to serve the patient, to connect with the patient, to interact with the patient, to show empathy. We have to learn them, because this still forms the basis of performing medicine as a doctor. 

EDU: What brought you to the field of medicine? 

Prof. Buhre: Well, I think that medicine is the most wonderful combination of science and taking care of humans. So what always attracted me is the ability to serve for the patients, but also to put a lot of energy in education, in research and in academic business.” 

EDU prioritizes developing a curriculum that includes all these characteristics that Prof. Buhre mentioned. Moreover, EDU aims to provide students with faculty and tutors that reflect these values and intrinsic motivations, to inspire them as well as guide them towards becoming well-rounded medical professionals.  

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EDU is constantly sharing perspectives from various experts, professors, and tutors about our programme, curriculum, and overall potential. Follow us on social media for more timely information about EDU’s online medical degree.

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