Journal: Medical Teacher Author: Maryam Fourtassi Publication Date: Aug 2019
Description: Moroccan medical students have been on a national open strike for over 100 days now, since 25 March 2019, and up-to-today around 18,000 medical students from the nine Public Moroccan Medical and Dentistry Schools have deserted their classrooms, and learning hospitals to occupy the streets carrying out the largest protests ever witnessed in this community, defending what they claim to be their right to have better training conditions and to protect their access to specialization (Kasraoui 2019, Kasraoui S. 2019). As a medical professor witnessing the on-going worrisome situation, where our students are putting their academic year at risk by boycotting their final exams, I can only stand in owe for such unprecedented students’ unity, courage, and perseverance. Against all expectations from a professor and faculty staff, I consciously admit being full of admiration for these so determined young students ready to sacrifice a whole year in order to stand for what they believe to be their fundamental rights.

However, to my older colleagues and I, this over 3 months continuous strike of students is quite surprising and frustrating. It is frustrating because we all believe that medical students should mostly invest in their studies and keep focused on their main goal; learning how to provide the best medical care for their future patients. But, while teaching and training them to achieve that goal, we tend to forget to listen to them. We omit to encourage them to be critical of our medical care systems weaknesses, and to show them how to be part of the change we all hope for. We just expect them to accept and adapt to whatever poor conditions they might be facing in their training, as we do adapt to difficult medical care conditions we are facing on a daily basis in our clinical practice.
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