Between August 31 and September 2, 2023, UMFST-UMCH hosted the 3rd Medical Student World Congress of Neurosurgery – with approximately 300 participating students from over 40 nations. The congress was hosted by the Walter E. Dandy Neurosurgical Society from St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Diseases of the spine as well as brain injuries are increasing significantly, while at the same time the number of well-trained physicians is decreasing. At the congress, which was organized by students for the first time in Germany, the many experts who attended, including numerous neurosurgical experts from many countries, agreed that action was urgently needed in this area.
“It is a great honor for our medical school and the city of Hamburg to be selected to host the international congress”, said Hon.-Prof. Dirk Naumann zu Grünberg of the UMCH Campus Management.
In addition to scientific lectures, the congress program included a variety of hands-on workshops with the international experts. During these workshops, students were able to experience surgical simulations with an operating microscope, perform simulations of spine surgery, resect tumor models, learn about the innovative field of tumor therapy fields and use VR technologies to expand their medical knowledge, among other activities.
In addition to the scientific program points of the congress, there were also exchange opportunities for the students with the international experts in the form of mentorship sessions. “They could ask anything that moved them. That is very rare. It was new territory for both the students and the renowned medical experts in this form and a great enrichment”, says Hakim Dziri from the congress organization team. Challenges and approaches to solutions were discussed together. In this respect, too, UMFST-UMCH is a model for the future of German medical training. In contrast to the usual practice, students are integrated into practice as early as the sixth semester here. In this way, the students contribute at an early stage to relieving the burden on the hospitals’ daily routines.
The physicians and hospital decision-makers from around the world who were at the Hamburg campus for the congress explained new developments in the diagnosis and therapy of neurosurgical clinical pictures in their lectures. Insights were provided by, among others, Prof. Dr. Jens Gempt (Director of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf), Prof. Dr. Walter Stummer (Director of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University Medical Center Münster, Chief Physician of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Osnabrück Hospital and former President of the German Society of Neurosurgery), Prof. Dr. Veerle Visser-Vandewalle (Director of the Department of Stereotaxy and Functional Neurosurgery at the University Hospital Cologne), Prof. Dr. Dietmar Krex (Neurosurgeon at the Uniklinik Dresden), Prof. Dr. Jaroslaw Maciaczyk (Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at the University of Bonn), Prof. Dr. Jörg-Christian Tonn (Director of the Neurooncological Center at the Clinical Center of the University of Munich), Prof. Dr. Bernhard Meyer (Chair of Neurosurgery at the Technical University of Munich), Prof. Jürgen Beck (Medical Director of the Clinic for Neurosurgery at the University and University Hospital of Freiburg) and Prof. Thomas Kapapa, MD (Senior Consultant at the University Hospital of Ulm).
Among the many supporters of the event were Zeiss, Stryker, Signus, Söring and Braun.