Study and teaching

Use in the pandemic is recognised for students after all

Contributions of medical students as nursing assistants will be credited as clinical traineeships and nursing internships.

Lower Saxony's Minister of Science Björn Thümler with MHH AStA Chair Lennart Simon (right) and AStA Vice Chair Carlos Oltmanns. Copyright: Lennart Simon/AStA.

Status: 18 March 2021

Finally! The services of many medical students during the Corona pandemic at the Hannover Medical School (MHH) and other hospitals are to be credited retrospectively as a clinical traineeship or nursing internship. Lower Saxony's Minister of Science Björn Thümler brought this news to the MHH's AStA Chair, Lennart Simon, and Vice chair Carlos Oltmanns in a one-hour conversation. The MHH's AStA had previously joined forces with the human medicine departments of Lower Saxony's universities in Oldenburg and Göttingen to campaign for acknowledgement of student achievements during the pandemic and for an exemption from the licensing regulations.

Lower Saxony ministries agree on solution

"I am pleased to be able to bring you the message that a solution has been found for the Lower Saxony Special Purpose Licensing Association (NiZzA) to recognise corresponding applications," said Science Minister Björn Thümler on the social media channel Instagram on Tuesday. He had asked medical students a year ago to support hospitals during the Corona pandemic. Many students followed this call also in the hope that these services would be recognised as clinical traineeships or nursing internships in their studies. But this has not happened so far. The problem: Many of these internships had continued after the start of the digital summer semester on 20 April 2020, but according to the licensing regulations, internships must be completed outside the regular lecture period.

Together with the Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Science has now been able to agree on an exception, writes Minister Thümler: "I sincerely thank all those involved who have contributed to this solution. Above all, however, I thank the medical students for their commitment. I continue to hope for their support in dealing with this pandemic."

Relief among medical students

The students expressed relief and happiness at the news. "For us, this step is an important sign of recognition of the achievements of the medical students in Lower Saxony by the politicians, for which we have fought for a long time," explained AStA chair Lennart Simon after the talks. Many students faced a double challenge due to the restart of teaching in April 2020.