Posted by Kevin Garrity
Fri, 16 Mar 2012
Being relatively new to Medsin, attending the IFMSA March Meeting has been both a privilege and a pleasure but more significantly for myself, a huge learning curve.
I’m a 4th year medic from the University of Glasgow. I got involved in Medsin via attending the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) conferences where I was part of the international student task-force. There, I met some students involved in medsin and some other national member organisations affiliated with IFMSA. I was able to find out a lot more about how medical education affects global health, how different countries teach medicine and the inequalities in standards of medical education worldwide. More importantly, I was told about how medical students may be able to advocate for change and was inspired to join Medsin as soon as I got back.
Here at the GA, I have been sitting in the Standing Committee for Medical Education (SCOME). Medical Education is so important and I think its really easy to overlook how much of an impact it can have on global health. After all, one of the best ways we have of taking greater action as medical students is by making sure more medical students are aware of global health issues and thus are enabled to advocate and act. Hence, one of medsin’s main strategies is ‘education’. Over the course of the week we have been working on developing new policy advocating for more student involvement in the educational process and allowing equal access to medical education for those in low socioeconomic status groups. We have been discussing important issues in medical education and training SCOME members in advocacy and in setting up new educational projects at a more local setting. Is has also been really great to have the opportunity to discuss new projects that are already pre-existing and could be taken on board by other NMOs.
In short, it has been inspiring. To meet hundreds of medical students hailing from all corners of the world who are passionate about improving global health and medical education has made for the perfect setting to collaborate on projects, set up new ones and develop new policy. I’ve really enjoyed engaging in discussions, meeting lots of other students and picking up lots of ideas about how I can help take action when I return to Glasgow. I’ve also been able to learn more about global health and advocacy and gained a hunger to learn more.
I think hosting the Meeting in Ghana has really brought home the theme of ‘social determinants of health’ and made all the sessions so much more relevant. Having been to Ghana before, I knew what to expect but attending all the sessions at the conference has given me a much deeper insight into global health issues, how they materialise and and how affect people living here and elsewhere in the world.
Last but not least, its been a real pleasure to meet so many amazing people and great friends. The people on our own UK delegation alone are inspiring and a pleasure to work with and likewise, I have really enjoyed meeting some incredible people from all over the world, finding out about their experience of medical education, their opinion on global health issues and finding out new ways in which we can advocatefor change. I’m looking forward to maintaining newly established partnerships when I get back home and can’t wait to get started back in Glasgow!
Kevin is a 4th year medical student at Glasgow Uni, attended SCOME at MM2012 and was the comms lead for the Medsin-UK delegation.