AMEE 2018 | A brief overview part I

For approximately 5 days every year, thousands of medical and other health professions’ educators gather to learn, to teach, to share and to exchange in what has become the biggest conference of its kind globally – the AMEE Conference.

This year, between August 25th-29th, over 3.800 deans, professors, medical education advocates and of course, students, arrived in Basel, Switzerland. Continuing the tradition, IFMSA had a very strong presence again this year: read ahead to get an overview of all our interventions!

The AMEE Student Taskforce together with the WFME President and the WFME Head of Office

Every AMEE Conference is made possible with the contribution of approximately 65-70 students from all over the world, who tirelessly support the logistical operation and the smooth running of all short communications, symposia, plenaries, posters, and courses among others. The IFMSA Liaison Officer for Medical Education issues (LME), Katerina Dima, together with the EMSA AMEE Representative, Vagelis Papageorgiou, and their 2 assistants: Beatriz Atienza Carbonell and Mohsna Bhiri, coordinated the work of the 68 members of the Student Taskforce (pictured above), which this August saw a record number of 39 countries represented!

Moreover, the IFMSA LME sits in the AMEE Executive Committee, where we participate in the decision making and leadership of AMEE; during the Conference, the AMEE Executive Committee meets several times and members present their activities’ reports, beside discussing and agreeing on future developments. A very important decision that was discussed was the theme of the upcoming 2019 Conference: “The Patient as Educator”, of which IFMSA has been very supportive.

One of the main goals IFMSA had this year for our participation, was to widen the scope of work presented, as education remains a very important component in all of our Standing Committees. 2 SCORE posters (on the Program Evaluation and on the Research Camp), 1 SCOPE short communication (on the Global Health Training), 1 SCOPH short communication (on the Public Health in Medical Curricula manual) and 1 SCOME short communication (on the Global Social Accountability Assessment) were among the presentations that we gave, to very positive remarks. Beyond that, IFMSA was also invited to participate in the AMEE/AMSE Symposium under the theme “Are medical schools selecting students with the appropriate values for 21st century medicine” where we discussed our policy documents on Social Accountability in Medical Schools and Widening Participation in Medical Education.

Together with EMSA, IFMSA also facilitated two Conference workshops on “Student Refugees in Europe: Barriers and Solutions to University Enrollment and Retention”, where we shared personal experiences from two students and discussed potential actions for AMEE-EMSA-IFMSA and “Making Student Engagement more Meaningful” where we presented case studies by Student Taskforce members and discussed potential improvements.

IFMSA LRP giving a PechaKucha

On the last plenary of the Conference, IFMSA had the opportunity to give a PechaKucha presentation on “Human Resources for Health: Medical Students vs Medical Schools” by the IFMSA Liaison Officer for Human Rights and Peace issues and VPE-Elect, Marian Sedlak, which was extremely well received and raised some very interesting discussions. A video of the presentation can be seen here.

Last but not least, during the 2018 AMEE Conference, IFMSA participated for the very first time in the ASPIRE Social Accountability Panel private meeting, as we are now officially members and contribute to the ASPIRE award decision making and the revision of the criteria. We are very happy to report that the updated version of the criteria, available here, offers reference to the IFMSA Students’ Toolkit on Social Accountability.

There were many lessons to be extracted from the hundreds of sessions, the conversations with experts and newcomers, the decision-making discussions but most of all, from the passion and the enthusiasm exhibited by the Student Taskforce and the 350 students that attended the Conference. The challenge now for IFMSA will be to apply these lessons in the upcoming term and ensure an even greater participation next year – hopefully of all 6 Standing Committees.

Stay tuned for part II, where 6 Student Taskforce members from all IFMSA regions will share their experiences and take-home messages.

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