Teaching tools to cultivate knwoledge, passion and compassion

Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome’s commitment to international cooperation and fellowship finds its original matrix in the Charter of the Aims, which states: “We wish to promote a sense of solidarity and fraternity, which manifests itself in work, by knowing how to put one's professional prestige at the service of the common good (art. 4)”. This promotion of fellowship and cooperation has, over the last 20 years, characterized a style of university education that aims to educate students to a sense of solidarity through university work itself, both research and teaching.

The crucial element - and what gives depth and perspective to the university work - is the relationship that exists between knwoledge, passion and compassion. These concepts could seem unrelated or even diametrically opposed to some butin fact, if a passion for people and for knowledge leads to the acquisition of skills motivated to help them, then they are not at all opposed. Hence, it is fundamental to cultivate the good passions of the students.
Diverse teaching tools are used by the Campus Bio-Medico to implement this training model, including:

  • a Course on Humanitarian Aid: an optional didactic activity consisting of meetings (an average of 6 per year) with humanitarian aid workers and leaders in the field of development cooperation initiatives, both Italian and foreign. An open window on the real world of human underdevelopment to learn about it from the inside

  • Medical Work Camps: missions of 2-3 weeks’ duration to institutions in developing countries, in order to provide healthcare for the local population and undertake biomedical research

  • a Residential Training Period in an African hospital in concordance with the Campus Bio-Medico. This is an appropriate tool for medical students in their final years of study, giving them an opportunity to learn and improve their skills directly on the job, through surgery sessions, outpatient clinics, clinical procedures, etc.

Thanks to the project Afia Together (funded by Farmindustria), which in Swahili means Health Together, we have access to some of the best medical institutions in many developing countries (Congo, Cameroon, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritania, Peru, and Madagascar) and have the opportunity to create not only a North-South network, but also a South-South one, in order to deal with the challenges of healthcare in  African continent.
Behind all these initiatives lies a research ethics that serves as a compass pointing towards a ‘north’ which is already the medicine of the future: namely, Global Health.