From March 3rd – 9th, over 1000 students gathered in Hammamet, Tunisia, for the 63rd General Assembly of IFMSA. For those interested in medical education, how it works in different countries, and how youth can be a part of the medical education development, The Standing Committee on Medical Education (SCOME) was waiting with 4 days of sessions.
SCOME started early on the 3rd of March with the Hakka used by the All Blacks before their rugby matches, which motivated the members (SCOMEdians), got them on their feet, and made them show up early next day on the 4th for the sessions. After the usual energizers and name games, the over ninety participants split into a group of new members (newbies) and those with more experience (oldies). Newbies got the chance to learn more about what SCOME is and what medical education is all about in an interactive, maze style game, with your typical treasure, points, and obstacles. The oldies got a chance to listen to more detailed updates about what the SCOME International Team was working on during the term, and put their heads together on problems they faced nationally as leaders in Medical Education
The highlight of the first day of the sessions, were the external speakers.
Professor Madalena Patricio, the past president of AMEE came to talk about the structure of AMEE and its contribution to medical education and how students contribute largely to the AMEE conference through the AMEE Student TaskForce.
This was followed by Professor Medical Gordon, President-Elect of World Federation on Medical Education talked about medical education, the obstacles it is facing, and what is the role of students in it as well as the structure of WFME and how it contributes.
Finally, Dr. Erica Wheeler from the WHO department of health workforce joins SCOME sessions to talk about health workforce education and how in IFMSA we contribute to that.
Over the following days, SCOMEdians got the chance for a rich mix of capacity building, discussions, and updates. We had the chance to talk about the 5 different priorities in SCOME for this term (Non Formal Education, Student Rights & Wellness, Reproductive Health Education, Databases and Internal operations), as well as on the SCOME transnational projects and their timeline. We also divided into Small working groups to discuss our Internal Operating Guidelines, mission and vision , and opportunities for medical education capacity building through Subregional Trainings.
Throughout the sessions, we also had a discussion with the SCOMEdians on the policy statements being proposed in the GA in order to reflect the voice of IFMSA .
2 hours were also dedicated to joint sessions where SCOMEdians had a choice between sessions on Recognition of Exchanges, Students’ Rights & Wellness , Global Health Education, Human Resources for Health, Open Access, Interprofessional Education, PreExchange Training , and Comprehensive Sexual Education in Medical Education. The goal of these joint sessions was to break down barriers between the different work fields of IFMSA and to join hands onoverlapping issues, to increase our impact together, learn from each other, to get to know the other corners of the federation and to establish long term collaborations between local and national officers as well.
After days of fun and knowledge, March 8th marked the last day of sessions for SCOME, which ended by participants drawing, scribbling , and sharing their thoughts and what they liked the most on the SCOME Dream wall, ending with a group photo to preserve many many memories of happiness, friendship, knowledge, sharing experiences and never ending fun.
All the best,
The SCOME International Team