Interview to the Turkish NORE

Hi Yazig, let’s begin with a short presentation. Imagine to be talking to all the Italian Local Committees and introduce yourself!

Hello everyone, I am Yagiz Yolcu from TurkMSIC-Turkey. I am currently in my final year of medical school and just finished my term as the National Officer on Research Exchange in my NMO.

– Your NMO is probably one of the biggest NMO of all the IFMSA world. What’s the key to reach such a similar point?

It is because of our education system I think. There is no law on limiting or at least controlling number of new universities and medical schools. Therefore, there are too many medical schools in Turkey (90+ as far as I know). Even though it can have bad results from educational aspect, having many medical schools is a great thing for our NMO. Because of this increasing number of medical students and schools, each year we have at least 300-400 new volunteers joining us, and 3-4 more schools which make us better and stronger.

– How many LCs have an active exchange program in Turkey? Give us some numbers about outgoings and incomings or about your fabulous nGA and confess us the secret recipe to make this big machine works !

Currently, there are 77 active LCs and 41 exchange-active LCs in Turkey. But after our NGA in April 6 more LCs became Exchange-active and joined our Exchange program next term. I don’t know the exact number of incomings and outgoings since I don’t have access to database now, but approximately it should be around 125 each. We had more than 150 contracts this year but we have 20-30 missing from both outgoings and incomings because of cancellations and other problems. Our NGAs were getting boring each year because of using the same program each time, so we decided to change things a little bit. We shortened the presentations of achievements done by national team part and limited to only during day 1. Then, we integrated IFMSA and GA styles a little bit. We included NORE debate, regulations discussions, and PRET presentations. The most fun part was having awards for LOREs and team members who worked in different groups all year long. We call them SCOREY’s and do it like a real award presentation ceremony! The secret recipe is team work. I had 5 assistant who were as experienced as me in Exchange and worked like NOREs. It made everything easier.

– Talking about Turkish Medical Schools, tell us the best three and the worst three characteristics a foreign medical student can experience during a Research Exchange there!

Best three: Great amount and variety of projects, tutors who are crazy about hosting foreign students (they treat Exchange students better than us!), great places to see in social programs.

Worst Three: Country’s unstable situation makes it scary unfortunately, because of strange systems of Turkey lodging or the Project can be cancelled in the last minute, transportation is a mess.

– And what about Turkish students? Are they enough involved in Research within their University carrer? or does university provide them external course to improve in this field?

Unfortunately no. It is not supported at all, and usually students are on their own, which means they have to contact their professors to be involved in a research. Other choices are Exchanges and other opportunities outside Turkey for short periods of course.

– Something that people really envy you for, is the national social program, isn’t it? Can you describe it briefly and give us some advices to create a similar moment of connection and cooperation among different LCs?

Yes, we totally separated national tours from SCORE and SCOPE national teams. It is managed by a coordinator who is chosen by NEO and NORE through applications. The coordinator takes applications and selects a team and all the processes are done by them. We just get feedback regularly. We have 6 tours (3 in July and 3 in August) in most popular touristic places of Turkey. From the team, volunteers take the responsibility of individual tours and organize them. Communication among LCs are done between individual tour coordinators and LEO/LOREs, and LEO/LOREs together with CPs inform the students about everything. We have a facebook group for the tours as well.

– Let’s become serious just for a while now, do you think the program can help fighting stereotypes and burdens? Tell us which are the wrongest beliefs you can notice among foreign students approaching to Turkey and how young students can avoid prejudices.

The biggest concern is of course safety. These 1-2 weeks were really special days in terms of sad events happenning, but in general it is not as much as it is shown. The students should talk to other students who came to Turkey before. I am sure that it will reduce their prejudices.

– Evergreen of every interview, what’s the main goal you’ve reached as NORE and what is your main “failure”, or just the thing you could have realized if you had more time?

The main goal I’ve reached was setting up a structure for all of our works, and creating a system that every NORE can easily use from now on. We have many LCs that are not Exchange active, and I couldn’t do anything to keep them motivated even I tried to come up with ideas. That was the biggest failure for me.

– Have you ever been Italy? Tell us the best memory of it or the place you would like to see more!

No, unfortunately!

– Time to say goodbye to our readers… Please use a song, a movie or a maxim you love most, and thank you!

I want to choose a song. Back in Black- AC/DC  The song I love the most, or maybe one of the most.