Some of the students who had planned to start their internships in September were recently told that they could not start until the spring of 2023. This leads to study delays, changed plans and financial uncertainty. EM spoke with fourteen students last month about their waiting periods. It is not clear exactly how many students are struggling with this problem, but dozens of requests to swap starting dates are circulating on social media. Not everyone succeeds in swapping schedules, so some students opt to do an extra master’s or to go and work.

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Waiting one and a half year to start your medical internships

Waiting times for internships have increased considerably. Some students who wanted to…

Five extra months of waiting time

The national advocacy organisation De Geneeskundestudent (The Medical Student) had already warned last year that corona would lead to delays. Current president Femke van de Zuidwind has concluded that these delays have not yet been caught up with and may even have worsened. “Waiting times have always been around, but they have skyrocketed since corona. We can see that in most study programmes it has led to an additional five months’ waiting time for internships.”

The support package to address corona-related backlogs in education, which is part of the National Education Programme, has earmarked an amount of 8 million euros for Medicine and Dentistry studies. This sum is intended to find solutions for work placements and internships that did not go ahead during the corona crisis.

More places

The Rotterdam school of medicine confirms that the waiting times are long and that it is working on solutions, but does not want to give a more detailed response before all students have been informed first. A temporary measure is the creation of extra places, which will allow 84 instead of 72 students to start their internships on each of the five starting dates this academic year. There is also a compensation scheme for students who have to wait longer than half a year.