Mattheus Wilke

Participant of the Summer School on Pediatrics 2012

In the year of 2012 I had the happiness and the honour to be part of the Medical Sciences Summer School on Pediatrics in Groningen. We were in total 36 medical students from all over the world, including people from Italy, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Indonesia and Brazil, like myself.

The program included classes and activities within the UMCG complex that approached them a in pillars of the children´s care: metabolic diseases, neurology, traumatology, neonatology and gastrointestinal diseases. It also included several sightseeings, both in Groningen and in Amsterdam, pubcrawls, dance workshops and other activities that allowed that this very unique group could gather and become very close friends by the end of the week.

For me, the Summer School was a great experience for it allowed me to exchange with others my hopes and fears towards medicine, to open my mind towards new diagnosis and patient´s approaches and to experience how it is to study/work in a different hospital. I liked it so much that in 2013 I came back for a one-year exchange program both in research and as a medical student at UMCG for the so called ‘3.2 block’.

During 2013 I worked in the Section of Metabolic Diseases in Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD) with Dr. Terry Derks. He helped me developed a manuscript about GSD and livertransplantation which was my first ever experience writing a paper. It was very challenging but I felt a lot of support from the whole hospital´s staff. The classes in the UMCG were an extra challenge but one that could be overcomed again with the support of the university, and, ofcourse, many hours of study in the library… ( and I really meant many…).

Life in Groningen during this time was great. What a lovely city to live! Guess you could say that the Summer School really awakened a more curious and interested side of medicine for me, and I still treasure the friends that I made back then.

Mattheus Wilke