‘Life-changing’: OUWB students return from study trip to Auschwitz

Students at the gate of Auschwitz 1
Students and officials from OUWB at the gate of the former Auschwitz 1 concentration camp, on June 16, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Dietderich)

Nineteen next generation physicians from Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine spent last week in Poland for better understanding of the Holocaust — and gained deeper appreciation for human kindness.

The week consisted of two days in Krakow with the rest of the time spent in Oswiecim, home to the sites of the former Auschwitz 1 and Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps.

Students learned about Jewish heritage and history, the extent of the Holocaust and how physicians reacted on all sides, took part in reflective writing sessions, read testimonials, and began developing plans to share what they learned with others. The overall goal was to prompt students to reflect on the implications of the Holocaust for one’s own personal and professional development within the medical profession.

It was the inaugural version of what is expected to become an annual study trip to Auschwitz for students from OUWB. The program is the first fully endowed program of its type for a U.S.-based medical school.

“It’s given me the insight of how important it is to be mindful…of humanism and of treating patients as individual human beings,” said OUWB medical student Amanda Romaya.

(Only partial stories are posted here with hopes to provide a brief overview and introduction to my most recent work. The full version of this story may be found on the OUWB InMedicine site here.)

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