Name of the activity: Leading the way

Country/NMO: Bulgaria (AMSB)

Program: Health Systems

 

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Capacity Building

 

General description:

‘Leading the way’ is a continuous activity that aims to promote the possibilities of a career in Bulgaria through a series of lectures and interactions between the most well-known doctors in the country and the students. Furthermore the project gives the students an insight in different specialties and the opportunity to interact with the leading professionalists in the field. Through the project we achieved not only a better understanding of the career options and pros and cons of staying in Bulgaria, but also we were able to advocate for more extracurricular opportunities for students in local hospitals, workshops and conferences.

Focus area:

Medicine related issues

Problem statement:

Around 40% of the medical graduates leave Bulgaria every year to seek better professional development and career options abroad. Due to the brain drain the country is currently facing a lack of physicians in specialties like anesthesiology and intensive care, general practitioners, infectious disease, etc. ‘Leading the way’ is a project that aims to promote among the students and to show them the other perspective – to stay and work in Bulgaria, through the example of some of the best and most well-known Bulgarian doctors.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

The target group of the project are medical students.

Objectives and indicators of success:

1. Increase the knowledge of the participants about the possibilities of a career in Bulgaria. Indicators: Participants are aware of the career options, the pros and cons of a career in the health field in Bulgaria.
2. Increase the number of students who start volunteering in local hospitals earlier in their medical training. Indicators: More students are volunteering in local hospitals during their medical training and are seeking different opportunities (participating in research, working as nurses, etc.)
3. Increase the cooperation between the doctors and the local hospitals, the students and the LC. Indicators: More opportunities (trainings, mentorship, reduced price for conferences, etc) are offered to students from the local hospitals and the doctors directly or through the LC.

Methodology:

The above mentioned objectives are achieved through close communication with the doctors and the local hospitals. Doctors are invited to share their path and experience with the students in a lecture followed by a question & answer panel. Doctors and local hospitals are encouraged to share with the students through the LC or the university channels different possibilities for students to get more involved and gain experience in a specialty.

Plans for evaluation:

We did a pre-evaluation form to measure the knowledge of the students about their career options after graduation and to see their future plans and why they would work abroad. After the first three lectures we did an evaluation to see the opinion of the students after the beginning of the activity and to look for ways of improving it. We did a final evaluation form after the last lecture for this academic year to see the impact of the activity till now. We plan to do another form in the beginning of the next academic year to see how many participants started volunteering after taking part in the activity and to decide how to further improve the project. Furthermore, the impact of the activity can be measured by the number of students that took part in extracurricular activities offered by the local hospitals.