IntroductionThere is an increasing notion among students that professional boundaries and unproductive hierarchical structures are an obstacle to progress in improvement of healthcare. Exploding costs of healthcare, introduction of market mechanisms in healthcare and aging of European society, demand for fresh perspectives and activism from the side of students in order to strengthen networks and to build bridges towards change and improvement of sustainable and accessible healthcare.
Through teamwork between different healthcare professionals, patients, industry, improvement of leadership skills and active citizenship, students will contribute to solutions for current problems.
The World Healthcare students’ Symposium of 2005, 2007, 2009 gathered around 300 students from all over Europe to increase the notion of the need of teamwork in healthcare. Within the spirit of these events, the inspiration for the development of the educational concept of the Parkinson's Disease Summer School grew.
The first Bologna Process workshop for healthcare students in 2008, created the first European statement with a sectoral focus on education reform. Education seems to be the key to solutions of many problems in healthcare.
With the first European Leadership Summerschool in 2008 in Ankara, 17 international students organisations decided to come together and share their best practices in leadership training, to improve leadership skills of student all over Europe. During this event, the first European Parkinson’s Disease summerschool was born. The legacy of Leadership Summer School events continued (www.leadershipsummerschool.org).
There’s an increasing notion that flattening of hierarchical structures, breaking down professional boundaries, sharing of knowledge and sharing of responsibilities are the building bricks of the professional lifes of the future generations. Web 2.0 and new technologies move us forward in this direction with a tremendous speed. Knowledge previously only accessible for an academic elite, becomes accessible to alll.
With knowledge however, comes responsibilty.
Students seem to be eager to take this responsibility and to contribute. Each of the Participants of the Parkinson's Disease Summer Schools in 2009 and 2010 increased their engagement in the world around them while making the transition from student to professional.
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