EMSA at the 17th SCMSA Summer School in Ismailia, Egypt

In the early Summer this year EMSA Europe has started cooperation with the Summer School on Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine organised by SCMSA – Suez Canal Medical Students’ Association between 4th and 17th of August 2014. The initial contact has been launched between the EMSA Medical Education Director, Kristina Filipova and the Coordinator of SCMSA Summer School, Marwan EL-Farargy, thanks to which EMSA members could enjoy lower participation fee. In order to ‘seal’ the agreement we were also invited to represent our Association during the event itself which turned out to be a fairy-tale adventure, with clinical medicine experienced to the fullest, exploring different faces of not-so-touristic Egypt, being touched by the mesmerizing Arabic culture and trying the famous mangoes from Ismailia (the best in the world, apparently!).

The balance between clinical and cultural elements of the program has been very well managed, with theoretical lectures well complemented by direct contact with patients. The tutors from SCMSA – final year medical students or freshly graduated doctors – transferred their knowledge in a way which allowed all participants to retain what’s most useful to them, without forgetting that we are all students on holiday after all… Each afternoon or weekend there was a different piece of Egypt to be discovered: from beaches, historic monuments (6th of October 1973 war memorial in Ismailia) up to dance ‘n’ music live show performed exclusively for the Summer School participants in one of the oriental restaurants.

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Attendees came from 9 European countries – all of them listed in a movie screened during the 17th SS Opening Ceremony at the MISR Public Library in Ismailia. See a list of other SCMSA Summer School movies.

Lastly, I wish to extend my most sincere words of appreciation for all the hospitality I received and congratulate on excellent organisation to the outstanding SCMSA team. With 17 years of experience, this Summer School could not have gone wrong, right? I was honoured to take part in your unique enterprise, see how students of various medical fields are brought together over clinical cases and which differences and similarities can be drawn between hospitals in Europe and the Middle East. Due to other commitments I was forced to leave early, however, the memories I kept are one-of-a-kind and I am more than sure the OC didn’t let the participants leave Egypt without feelings similar to mine.

I think the Summer School like the one held by SCMSA, but also many other medical faculties across the world, constitute a fabulous way of combining passion for medicine, travelling and the opportunity to come across numerous great people who share interests similar to yours. Dearest medical students, make sure you don’t miss another chance next year or maybe gather colleagues to organise your own Summer School in 2015? Why not?! The EMSA Europe network is out there to spread the word. There are so many excellent examples to follow, with 17th SCMSA Summer School in Ismailia, Egypt standing out among them.


Olga Rostkowska

EMSA President 2013/2014



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