Dear trainees and other colleagues,
My journey to become a doctor, and to consider myself a Scandinavian, came off to a rocky start. After realizing the hardships of getting admitted to medical school in Sweden, I went to Denmark to attend medical school – like many aspiring doctors at the time. I was skeptic to say the least. My very limited idea of Denmark and Danes consisted of typical stereotypes, such as red sausages, inebriated people and an incomprehensible language. Nevertheless, I packed my bags and decided to give it a try.
To my joy, and initial astonishment, my studies and life in the Danish capital became an amazing adventure. Together with Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Icelandic students I discovered medicine and life itself. Denmark turned out to be very much like Sweden but with a continental twist. During my years in Copenhagen I did not only become a doctor, I also realized what it means to be Scandinavian and a citizen of the Nordic countries. Our five countries share values, culture and history. Our tradition of collaboration is among the oldest and most extensive in the world and is constantly increasing. As such, we are truly part of a unique structure from which we can derive benefit and perspective as medical professionals.
Since last year, I am the president of Nordic Federation of Young Obstetricians and Gynecologists (“NFYOG”), a subgroup of Nordic Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (“NFOG”) focusing on Nordic trainees. Through discussions and the sharing of experiences, we strive towards the improvement of our trainee programs, and to give all Nordic trainees access to national success projects, such as the Danish concept “Pass on the Knife”. On our website, we have collected material from the Nordic trainee programs. We hope it can serve as inspiration and as a complement to our national trainee education programs.
Last year, we worked on a project aiming to enhance global focus amongst young doctors. By gathering stories from Nordic gynecologists who worked abroad during their trainee period and publishing these on our website, we wish to inspire young colleagues to spend time abroad. In addition, we aim to simplify the overseas placement process, and to contribute to the sharing of knowledge and experiences outside the Nordic countries.
Currently the board is preparing the upcoming NFOG congress in Odense where we will participate in a pre-congress session on global health. We will also arrange a dinner for all participating trainees. This will be a great opportunity to come together, share best practice and be inspired.
Adjacent to the NFOG congress, our Danish colleagues will invite trainees from the Nordic countries to participate in an exchange program. Keen trainees will get the chance to experience work during a two-day long stay a Danish hospital. They will also gain insight as well as receive hands-on experience from another Nordic health care system.
Throughout the years, I have become convinced that development comes through collaboration and shared experiences. It is my firm belief that most things will improve if we help each other. We, as Nordic medicine professionals, have a unique opportunity to collaborate and build networks early on in our careers. I am confident that NFYOG can play an integral part inspiring young professionals and, just like me, experience the joy and the value of studying and practicing medicine in another Nordic country. I am thrilled that we have reached this far, but I am also convinced that there is enormous potential in an expanded cooperation between our countries in terms of healthcare management, research related and education.
We will continue with our mission to make the Nordic trainee educations the best in the world. Please visit https://nfog.org/nyfog/ and join us on Facebook for more information, stories and inspiration.
On behalf of the NFYOG board