Yasmin Youssef – Valedictorian 2016

My name is Yasmin Youssef. I was valedictorian at Leipzig International School in 2016. After completing my IB, I decided to do a year of voluntary military service in the medical corps (Sanitätsdienst) of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) before starting my medical study program. I completed my military basic training and medical training at the Sanitätsregiment 1 in Weißenfels (Saxony-Anhalt). For the remaining eight months of my service, I worked at the military hospital in Berlin.

After completing my military service, I started my medical studies at the Medical Faculty of Leipzig University. I am now in my fourth year. Apart from my studies, I work at the clinic for orthopaedics and trauma surgery at the university. I am also a research assistant at the institute for medical psychology and sociology. There, I was able to publish my first paper in the European Journal of Cancer Care last month. In my paper, I present the development of a new rapid screener, which is supposed to detect cancer patients that are likely to develop the psychological state of “fear of progression.” This can be defined as the fear that the cancer disease returns or progresses unexpectedly, which can have serious effect on the psychological well-being of the patients.

As I plan to go into orthopaedics and sports medicine after completing my studies, I regularly attain different courses and conferences in this area. Furthermore, I am a member of the Sportärztebund Sachsen, the AGA (the German society for arthroscopy) and the Junges Forum (society of young orthopaedics and trauma surgeons). In 2019, I was able to attend the Leipzig Open as a member of the medical team in support of the athletes.

In the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the German military sent a call for help to all reserve military personnel. Since next term at the university was already announced to be held digitally and I wanted to help society in these challenging times, I immediately volunteered to participate in the fight against the novel virus. And just two weeks later, I was travelling to Berlin. There, I would work at the military hospital for the next two months. Two comrades and I were tasked to establish a Covid-19 department. There, we would organize all the procedures and documentation of the coronavirus tests: we informed coronavirus-positive test persons and persons who were in contact with them. Also, we bundled and evaluated coronavirus case numbers and prepared statistics for the hospital.

In late 2020, it was announced that my studies would continue to be taught digitally. Therefore, I was able to support the military hospital in Berlin a second time. During my second deployment, I worked at the newly implemented screening centre for patients and visitors of the hospital. The S.u.K.A. (Sichtungs- und Kontrollambulanz) is a tent complex at the entry of the hospital. There, patients and visitors are questioned for Covid-19 symptoms and (possible) contact to coronavirus-infected persons. Depending on their answers they are directed to the different wards. Furthermore, the members of the S.u.K.A. conduct of coronavirus tests for all staff members (symptomatic and asymptomatic alike). I paused my work at the S.u.K.A for six weeks, in which I went back studying full-time. Now, I am back in Berlin and support the S.u.K.A. team. I have learned a lot in the time that I have worked in the coronavirus emergency relief of the German Armed Forces in the past year. I have learned a lot about effective teamwork – particularly as shift leader I had the possibility to experience how coordinate a small group and how to dissolve or prevent conflict. But most interesting for me was to see what organisational processes lie behind patient care. Additionally, it was great to get to know many different people with different backgrounds as many of my comrades are reservists from many field and occupations.

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