On the 21st of May 2013, the current first year students (including myself) of the Global Master’s Programme in Health Informatics at Karolinska Institutet met with the programme coordinators Sabine Koch and Vasilis Hervaits (from Karolinska Institutet) and Uno Fors and Stefan Möller (from DSV, Stockholm’s University) in order to discuss and give feedback about our first year as Health Informatics students.
Before talking about the meeting, I just have to mention that in many countries (including my home country Egypt), students always feel and sometimes are forced to have a huge barrier between them and their professors. This thing doesn’t exist in Sweden. Of course the respect is there, but students are allowed and encouraged to talk and discuss things with their teachers openly which is something I personally appreciate.
The meeting was unfortunately attended by some (not all) of my colleagues, but we managed to cover many of the topics that we wanted to bring up as a whole group.
Among the important points that we covered were the differences in goals, expectations, understanding and levels of knowledge resulting from mixing up 2 groups from different backgrounds (Healthcare and IT) and some suggestions provided by us students in order to be able to manage these conflicts.
I think most of us agreed though that mixing these 2 particular groups together is itself a strong advantage for the whole programme and it gives the programme a very unique flavour that I personally think is healthy.
Some of us had very positive feedback about particular courses and points and others were extremely the opposite. We managed to discuss these points keeping in mind the difference in backgrounds that I already mentioned earlier which I think plays an important role in such difference in opinions.
One of the most important issues for us and for prospective students that we managed to bring up was career opportunities after the programme and how the programme can provide us with the knowledge and competency levels that are required by the different markets. We had some suggestions like offering more specialized elective courses to help the students go deeper into one specialized field of Health Informatics of their choice.
There were many others points that we discussed that day which can take more than one post to describe, but what I’d really like to stress is that you as a student should feel comfortable about expressing your opinion as long as you believe in it and you’ll always find people who would take things seriously and discuss things with you.