Pre-medical students from New York visit Leyden Academy

Today Leyden Academy welcomed a small delegation pre-medical students from Union College in New York. The students are currently touring the US, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands for an impression of how health care is structured in the various countries. In our country, the tour included amongst others visits to hospitals, a health centre, a centre specialising in physical and mental disabilities and an interview with a general practitioner. The goal is to provide students with an exposure to the different types of systems alongside an emphasis on teaching them how to compare and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of each model. Some issues are looked into in depth, such as how each system deals with decisions about allocating resources, regulating and managing costs, dealing with end of life issues, and supporting programs to improve public health.

At Leyden Academy, some of these topics were discussed. PhD candidate Miriam Verhage provided the students with an introduction to the mission and research projects of Leyden Academy as well as on the structure and financing of health care in the Netherlands. Miriam also gave a brief insight on the future of the Dutch method of care, on the impact of COVID-19 and on the care for vulnerable older populations.
The topic of the presentation of Lucia Thielman, researcher at Leyden Academy, was ‘Care for older people in a transitioning society’. In recent years the Netherlands has transitioned from a welfare state to a participation state. Within this transition care for older adults has changed from care provided in nursing homes to care provided at home. In addition, care is now more often being provided by informal providers in collaboration with formal care provides such as the primary care doctor.
Furthermore, the students got to experience what it feels like to be old, by wearing the ‘ageing suit’. Including shaky hands, unsteady feet and limited eyesight due to glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy, depending on the glasses you choose. A true eye-opener…