Interview to Begona Bueno Garcia, intensive care doctor with more than 15 years of experience and who also has a master’s degree in infectious diseases. He attended the 6th edition of the Master’s Degree in Medical Expertise and Assessment of Bodily Damage, being the best record in that edition.
Ask. How did you find out about the master’s degree? What was his initial goal in signing up?
Response. I found out about the master’s degree through a publication on the internet and then the teaching coordinator called me and explained and clarified all my questions. The information was faithful to what I later received. The initial objective of the Master’s was to have extra training with the intention of financially complementing my healthcare activity so that I could stop doing guard duty in the future.
Q. In what aspects do you think the master’s degree has benefited you?
A. In many aspects, namely: it has allowed me to work as an expert, with a wide range that I can manage myself depending on the free time that my healthcare activity leaves me. As soon as I was done, they called me to offer to do bodily injury reports and assessments. It has trained me in aspects of my daily hospital activity that I have not been trained in anywhere else, which may have legal implications and are essential for our practice: the correct elaboration of an informed consent, knowing how to properly write a history, being able to defend myself against patient complaints and many aspects for which we are not prepared neither in the degree nor during the residency. It has allowed me to meet colleagues from other specialties and share experiences during the master’s degree and afterwards, related to the expertise. In the same way, we have been able to meet and work hand in hand with professionals as different from us as lawyers and learn about medicine from another point of view.
Q. What assessment can you make of the classes taught? And what about the teachers?
R. Going to class every Friday is a major effort, but I recommend it to everyone. The classes are very interesting and serve to ask questions and clarify concepts, sometimes far removed from our medical vocabulary. In addition, it allows you to meet teachers and classmates. In any case, you have the streaming option and all the online content, which is also very useful when at some point you cannot go to class. The study material they give you is divided into weeks so that you can organize it. And the practices of the second part of the Master make you feel as if you were in a courtroom where they prepare you to be able to face the difficulties that the opposing party and the judge may pose. From experience, I say that I have been able to put into practice what I was taught in the master’s degree. They even give you a class on how to declare your activity when you exercise, which will be very useful. In short, they cover all the necessary aspects for your training in the subject.
The teachers are very professional, close and accessible. You have an assigned tutor who is fully available to help you with whatever you need, the same goes for the master’s thesis. In the end, more than teachers, they become colleagues. The professors put at your disposal all their experience in the defense of health professionals and who better than them to train you. In addition, you have the support of the University of Alcalá.
Q Do you think that the master’s degree is correctly adapted to the real needs of everyday life?
A. Totally. Today, all health professionals are exposed to a possible claim by the patient/client and we must know how to deal with it and, above all, how to prevent this from happening. Every day we give informed consents, access medical records, write reports and many times we do not do it as correctly as we should. That is what has taught me to improve the master in my daily practice.
Q. Any possible improvements? Do you recommend it? Why?
As for improvements in my personal experience, I do not miss anything. I recommend it, of course, because I believe that it not only allows you to work in an aspect other than care with the possibilities that this entails, but that it has been essential to improve many aspects of my hospital practice, providing added value to my CV. The University of Alcalá and the Uniteco Foundation promote the master’s degree in medical expertise and assessment of bodily harm, which this year promotes its 8th Edition. If it is of your interest, do not hesitate to follow this link.