As promised in our previous AMEE 2018 post, here you will find experiences shared directly from our Student Taskforce members, who every year make the Conference an unforgettable experience for everyone involved – and in turn, have the time of their lives! In case you have not read the part I, we strongly advise you to do so, as it provides valuable insight.
It’s 7:30 am. I’m eating buttery croissants, coffee and raspberry yoghurt. Just an ordinary morning… Except I’m sitting at a table with an Italian, a Tunisian, an Ethiopian, a Malaysian and a Brazilian student, all dressed in Burgundy T-shirts. And the best part is, we all share the same love for medical education and medicine in general. Where else would you be in the same room as incredible students from over 39 different countries sharing the same passion and enthusiasm for medical education as you? No other experience resembles that of the AMEE STF journey. Here, every second is a chance for you to learn, to be inspired, and to grow on so many different levels. And if you don’t already work in medical education, you’ll fall in love with it at AMEE. And if you already do, you’ll go back more empowered than ever, and more importantly you’ll go back with the tools, the contacts, the inspiration to work harder and more efficiently on improving medical education in your country.
Looking back at these five incredible days, all I can think is that I’m really blessed and grateful for the experience that I had!
Being an STF veteran, I try to involve myself in additional facets of the colossal AMEE conference every year and 2018 for me, was quite literally “as good as it gets.” The STF this year represented a student voice, more diverse and tangible than ever, before with half the members presenting at workshops and posters, delivering fringe sessions and PechaKuchas, and even winning prestigious AMEE innovation awards (Shout-out to Roshit!). On a personal level, some moments that climbed up to being the climax were: Witnessing the importance given to the essential works of WFME around the world; the workshop on the recognition of accreditation program and the due credit given to the emerging role of IFMSA, words of wisdom by the amazing Professor David Gordon (in an exclusive address to the STF) on the various ways in which students can get involved. While delivering a short communication on an IFMSA-led research attempting to include public health in medical curricula to make it more reflective of local needs, I found myself vehemently defending the idea of social accountability among medical students and the healthcare workforce, a concept that I had been unsure about, until AMEE 2018.
After spending a year hearing about how the AMEE Conference was the best experience one could ever have, I have to admit my expectations were very high. But so was my skepticism, could a conference be that good?!
The short answer is no. And it’s not because this experience goes much beyond the conference itself. Going to AMEE is about being part of a team, a taskforce that works tirelessly to ensure the conference runs smoothly. It is about taking part in the discussions about Medical Education – while packing welcome bags with other students or participating in one of the many activities of the programme. I came home with projects and ideas for my school or thinking on how I could foster this collaboration between students within IFMSA. Most importantly, everyone comes home knowing that all around the world there are people standing up for their medical education just like you and all the contacts are on that whatsapp group that doesn’t stop buzzing.
So, indeed, for all the reasons mentioned above, AMEE was one of the best experiences I could have had and I highly recommend you to see it for yourselves!
“I started living my dreams not just surviving to reach them!”
This first sentence summarizes the one-of-a-kind experience I had both in AMEE 2018 Conference and as part of the Student Task Force. It has been three times that I applied to be part of the STF and this was my first selection; when I read the acceptance email, goosebumps filled my body. During AMEE Conference, the same goosebumps would flood my skin each time I participated in a workshop or session and even in a random conversation I would have with a professor at a coffee break. As a medical education activist and enthusiast, people I met at the AMEE conference gave me ideas, help and inspirations that will fuel me for the rest of my life. Plans, blueprints and contacts were devised so that when I return home, I had clear vision and path to improve even more my country’s medical education system. The hangouts, town-tours and even one-on-one conversations I had with fellow STF members made me believe that strongest bonds and best moments can happen in a week period. In short, the whole experience gave birth to a real me that I started living.
The AMEE conference was a life-changing experience. As a medical student, it was very enriching to learn about medical education from many different perspectives. This conference taught me effective practices to enhance student and faculty learning and motivation. In particular, I intend to implement better presentation standards, more efficient assessments and open feedback sessions for students involved in the climate change and health education project I founded in Honduras.
The AMEE conference inspired me to believe a change in medical education is possible for every university in the world. I am motivated to actively advocate for more faculty development and better teaching practices at my school. I encourage every student to apply for the student task force. Students can be the founding pillars of an enhanced system of medical training and healthcare delivery. It may be challenging at the beginning, but never stop trying to change the world.
The knowledge, dedication, passion and human connection I experienced during this conference will impact my life forever.
As the next year’s Local Coordinator of the Student Task Force (STF), the AMEE Conference 2018 in Basel was very useful in many aspects. In regards to the logistical and organizational procedures I could learn a lot and talk to many people on how to make the STF even more efficient and educational. Being in the STF is definitely a great opportunity to get to know the world of Medical Education, get inspired by amazing speakers and be an active participant in different discussions on how to improve our education. It is also a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world and sometimes even make new friends. I personally was also able to learn a lot of new things about medical education and to meet many people. Next year the AMEE conference will take place in the – officially- most livable city of the world – Vienna. There are many reasons to apply for the STF: Beside the great opportunities at the conference, Vienna also offers a lot of culture, a metropolitan town with hip bars, great restaurants and many interesting museums to be discovered. “Servus” and see you in Austria!
The biggest thank you must be extended to all 68 Student Taskforce members who, for 6 days straight, worked tirelessly day and night to ensure the best possible experience for 3.800 participants. If you are interesting in joining the Student Taskforce, the call for the 2019 edition will be sent in early 2019!
Should you have any questions regarding the process, make sure to send an email to the Liaison Officer for Medical Education issues 2018/2019, Katerina Dima at [email protected].