Please find a Japanese version of this report here.
We have just held the third instance of a camp series named "Academy Camp on Medicine 2013", in which junior-high and high school students from Fukushima, together with university students from Tokyo metropolitan area, experience different aspects of medical studies. The one-night camp was held from February 22 to 23, 2014 in Ibaraki, partially funded by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) as part of promotion of science and technology communication. We stayed at Seizan Training Center.
During the two-day period, we had a variety of activities focusing on how to save our lives after big earthquakes. In the first session, we studied the mechanism of earthquakes, and discussed the risks in the first 72 hours of the disasters. In the second session, medical and paramedical students helped participants taking the vital signs of one another, and the participants made promises to protect their own bodies after next disasters. In the final session of the first day, the participants composed the choreography of the keywords they learned that day, so that the knowledge would firmly sit in their minds.
On the second day, the participants made graphs of their shifts of psychological states since the Great East Japan Earthquake to learn how to deal with potential psychological problems after next disasters. They understood that people's feelings differ, and so they should respect the feelings of others. Then some of the participants with a variety of backgrounds took roles as lecturers to talk and discuss about their special interests in small groups. In the end, all participants made three promises each on saving lives, and declared those promises to be witnessed by others.
This camp was an opportunity for all participants, including children from Fukushima, medical and paramedical students and people who have supported disaster-recovery, to look back the Great East Japan Earthquake and to be prepared in their daily lives for the next disasters. In addition, communicating with people of different ages and backgrounds seems to have helped the children to set the new goals in their daily lives and for the future.
To me, this was also an opportunity to look back my personal history since March 11, 2011, and to ponder over my specialty as a medical student and my own future. I feel now that my mission is to become like a bridge between ordinary citizens and medicine. I would like to connect what I have gained from this camp to the next occasions.
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