Meet the Medsin delegation to Mumbai!
Yes it's that time again... the next biannual meeting of the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA) is almost upon us - and this August for the very first time in the IFMSA's 61 year history the General Assembly (GA) is coming to India!
The IFMSA is made up of 'National Member Organisations' which represent the medical students of their own countries in this electic forum which is the largest student organisation of its kind in the world. Medsin-UK is the NMO for the UK and we send delegations to every GA. GAs (which happen every March and every August) each take on a different theme. This year's March Meeting in Accra, Ghana considered the Social Determinants of Health whereas the upcoming August Meeting takes 'Universal Health Coverage' as its theme at a pivotal time when India is making such strides towards this goal.
The 5 day meeting comprises various theme events with high profile international speakers, training sessions and regional meetings (we are part of the European Region). However the main sessions take place in 'Standing Committees'. The IFMSA is made up of 6 different ones: SCOPH (Standing Committee on Public Health), SCOME (Medical Education), SCORP (Human Rights & Peace), SCORA (Reproductive Health including AIDS), SCOPE & SCORE (Professional & Research Exchanges). These sessions are attended by students that are particularly passionate about their areas and are used for peer eduation relating to the overall theme, training, debate and discussion - as well as the establishment of various working groups to take forward long term international advocacy or policy work in a particular thematic area. The other main purpose of the GAs is to form IFMSA policy and debate changes to the bylaws and structure of the federation. NMO 'Presidents' do this by attending parallel 'Presidents Sessions' each morning and by holding the country vote in the formal plenary sessions which take place every evening. There's also a separate training stream called 'NMO management' which future NMO leaders are encouraged to attend.
As nearly 1000 medical students from over 110 different countries prepare to descend on the city of Mumbai, it's my pleasure to introduce you to the 13 strong Medsin contingent who will be representing our network at the meeting:
Leon Cohen is just finished his one year term as a National Exchange Officer for Medsin. He is a grad medic at Nottingham and will be attending SCOPE.
Francesca Burns is a 2nd year at Penninsula and is half way through her 1 year term as the other National Exchange Officer - she will also be attending SCOPE.
Yuhan Ong is a 2nd year at Aberdeen and has been involved with Medsin's writing team helping with the magazine. She will be attending SCOPH.
Felicity Jones is coming to the end of her term as joint National Coordinator of Medsin (along with me). She's a 4th year at KCL and will be attending SCOPH.
Samson Williams is a first year at Barts and is currently their branch secretary - having just finished a SKIP project in northern India he's now wending his way to Mumbai to represent us in SCOME.
Elly Pilavachi is a former National Coordinator of Medsin and is currently co-chair of the BMA Medical Students Committee. Medsin has a long term relationship with the BMA and always take a BMA rep as part of our delegations, thus representing all BMA as well as Medsin members internationally. Elly will also be attending SCOME.
Hollie Kluczewski is a 4th year at Newcastle and is current National Coordinator of Sexpression - an activity of Medsin and is also now coordinating the transnational version - Sexperience. She will be representing us in SCORA.
Dale Kirkwood studies at Leicester and is national Publicity Director for Sexpression - he will also be in SCORA sessions.
Hussein Mohamedbhai has been coordinating an IFMSA small working group on Maternal & Child Health having attended the March Meeting 2011 in Jakarta. He will be helping present the results of the SWG and will be attending some SCORA, some SCORP.
Joy Clarke is a 4th year at Barts and is Medsin's incoming Policy & Advocacy Director. She will be attending SCORP sessions.
Jonny Meldrum is on a gap year between pre-clinicals at Oxford and clinicals at UCL. He's the outgoing Vice Coordinator and is about to take over from Felicity and I as National Coordinator - and is taking ANOTHER gap year to do the job full time. He'll be attending NMO management sessions.
Anya Gopfert is a Newcastle medic and is outgoing Policy & Advocacy Director and incoming Vice Coordinator for International Affairs. This is a new position on the Medsin National Committee - Anya will be effectively 'NMO President' for the IFMSA and will take care of all IFMSA work and lead the delegations to both GAs, freeing Jonny up to focus on national work. Anya will be attending Presidents Sessions as part of her handover as well as helping present the results of the Maternal & Child health group which she has also been involved in.
And finally me (Dan Knights) - I'm the other half of the National Coordinator team this year and will be coordinating the delegation this time after Felicity took the lead in Ghana. I'll also be in Presidents Sessions.
We will also be joined by Mike Kalmus Eliasz, who is outgoing Global Health Education Director for Medsin but is also International Coordinator of IFMSA's initiative project 'Think Global'. He'll be primarily there as TG Coordinator and will be running the Think Global sessions, but has been instrumental in maintaining Medsin's link with IFMSA this year and will be involved with our delegation as much as possible!
The important thing is that we will be there representing YOU - the Medsin network, so we want you to feel as involved in all that we'll be doing as possible. So keep following the Medsin blogs page (www.medsin.org/blogs), our facebook page and our twitter (@medsinuk) for loads of updates from various members of the team. We'll be bombarding your virtual world both in the run up, during the meeting (9th-15th Aug) and with reflections after we get home.
Keep in touch! With much Medsin-love from the #AM2012India delegation x