ESMO-ESO Course on Medical Oncology for Medical Students 2018: Best Students 2017

Alberto Sogari and Natalia Mazas Aparicio, the winners of the 2017 'Best Student' Award, talk about their experience at the ESMO-ESO Course on Medical Oncology for Medical Students.

What was your take home message from the five days?

Alberto Sogari

I think the course had the unique ability to present many of the key points of the mindset you need to have to approach medical oncology: from the importance of a multidisciplinary team and of adequate tumour staging, to the need of a continuous collaboration with preclinical research to design innovative clinical trials. Among these, however, the one message that inspired me the most was that we are not treating a disease, but a patient, and their expectations and desires are of crucial relevance during treatment decision.

In my opinion, such “principles” are not only of inspiration for the education of a medical student, but also fundamental for a successful career in Oncology.

Alberto Sogari, IT

Why are you interested in medical oncology?

Natalia Mazas Aparicio

Medical Oncology is an interesting specialty for several reasons. First of all, curing cancer is one of the challenges of our century and, ultimately, of modern medicine. In the second place, cancer has relevant impacts not only on the sanitary level, but also on the social and personal level, challenging the communication between doctors and patients. Finally, research is essential in this field where a lot remains to be discovered, especially now that new approaches such as immunotherapy and liquid biopsy are being developed. 

Natalia Mazas Aparicio, ES and Alberto Sogari, IT

How do you feel about having a professional society, such as ESMO, supporting you in your professional development?

Before attending the course, I only knew about the congresses organised by ESMO and other societies like ASCO and I thought they were highly specialized meetings, meant for fully-trained doctors only. Now, instead, I feel that there is actually a place for everyone in ESMO, even for students. I was genuinely surprised to learn about the ESMO Young Oncologists group (now I read posts from their Facebook group every day!) and all the other learning opportunities offered by ESMO: I’m so looking forward to exploiting them in my future training as an oncologist.

Alberto Sogari, IT

The existence of professional societies seems to me essential. I consider that they have a great importance in supporting the development of physicians, the diffusion of the knowledge and the improvement of the clinical practice.

Natalia Mazas Aparicio, ES

Would you recommend this Course and why?

I would highly recommend the Course to anyone who is interested in Oncology as a general field, either in medical oncology, or radiotherapy oncology, or research. Thanks to its high-quality lectures and the constant interactions with professors and students in an informal and cosy environment, this Course was able to expand my knowledge in Oncology and widen the horizons of my future career, and this in just five days!

Alberto Sogari, IT