Interview with Lava Taha, Supervisor of EaT Erlangen, Germany
A head start at the medical faculty of Erlangen – just a week ago, prospective doctor Lava Taha (23) established the 28th EAT group in Germany. Alone. And already, after only a few days, over 40 interested medical students at Erlangen University have joined the group.
Lava, what made you want to get involved in the EAT?
Three years ago, I began my medical studies with the intention of later becoming a doctor, in order to work with people and to help them as much as I can. I think it’s great when you have the power and the motivation to get involved in these kinds of initiatives and make a positive contribution. Apart from studying, I also tutor a dissection course – so I assist with dissections in the student labs. I really enjoy working with students; you get so much out of it! I think that working with school students will be the same. Being “on eye-level” with them as a kind of friend, means you can really achieve a lot by educating these 10-15 year olds about smoking. Smoking, and its risks and consequences, is a ubiquitous issue almost everywhere today. I personally feel very strongly about taking action against it, and about educating and protecting young people through raising awareness. Avoiding smoking when you’re young and never taking it up in the first place, means that you won’t have any problems with it or feel the need for it as an adult. I think that this definitely makes the concept of EAT appealing and appropriate to its aims.
Why do you think that medical students are suitable for educating school students?
As a medical student, whether it’s from lectures, books, or through hands-on experience in clinical practice, you learn a lot about all the damage that smoking can do. Smoking is a listed risk factor of one in two illnesses. And so, as medical students being confronted with this almost every day, we can really set a strong example and make a big difference. This is an opportunity that is definitely worth taking!
What are your goals in Erlangen for the near future?
It’s important to firstly establish contacts, and to get as many people at the university enthusiastic about EAT as possible in order to find other committed students who are keen to actively take part in the project. As the next step, we want to reach out to schools in Erlangen and organize our first school visit. Later on, we also want to extend the initiative to other schools around Erlangen as well.
What do you enjoy doing outside of study?
In my spare time I enjoy playing basketball. I’m also someone who loves life in all its facets, both in the good times and the bad times. I look forward to every new day that life brings and greet it with a smile. I really love to laugh!
Lava Taha (23) is studying in her 7th semester of medicine at Erlangen. In 2014, she was the scholarship recipient of the “Geh-Deinen-Weg” (“Go your own way”) program of the Deutschlandstiftung Integration. In 2010, she was also awarded the Gustav Schickedanz Foundation scholarship.
Are you a medical student in Erlangen? You can support Lava at: http://gegentabak.de/universitaet-erlangen