To say that yesterday was a long day would be quite the understatement – starting at 8h30 with a regional session and ending just short of 2 am the next day after a plenary of more than 5 hours doesn’t leave a lot of time for rest, even discounting the inevitable social program. I daresay the latter is probably the straw that broke the camel’s back, considering most participants zombie-like appearance before breakfast (and even later – the l*ack of easily accessible coffee made achieving a sustainable state of mental awareness difficult).
In any case, just as the one before, the America’s sessions where quite interesting, with the region’s trademark vibrant energy and emotional nature coming out. It was evident when the region met with the Supervision Council concerning FEVESOCEM’s (our Venezuelan equivalent) debt, but I daresay that nothing could testify to this better than Brazil’s dance tutorial being a point on the official schedule. A part from this, the last regional meeting’s budget was closed, and Peru’s candidature was accepted for next year’s.
This was followed by a short break, if running around and filling out forms for dozen of bylaw modifications can be counted as a break. In any case, this was concluded with minimal fuss, although it has to be said that some national member organizations (the term used to describe individual member organizations) could learn a thing or two about brevity and amending things à l’amiable, which would have made our jobs a lot easier.
Later in the afternoon, Alexander Lachapelle and myself gave our training on fundraising a second time, this time to some of our colleagues in the NMO Management stream. Once more, it seems that limiting the theoretical and technical content to the start, adding a lot of real-life examples to illustrate the theory and then having the rest of the training devoted solely to practical activities, was greatly appreciated by participants. It was also my pleasure to attend my colleague’s joint session on the importance and integration of research in medical education, which proved most interesting.
As for plenary itself, there is no way around it; voting motions instead of accepting them nemo contra takes time. When there are more than thirty of them, and some NMOs insist on holding a vote for every single one, the technical failings of the voting system become rapidly evident. And so, we hunkered down for a long plenary session, deprived of coffee, food, and, at times, even water, IFMSA-Québec’s mascot Jean-Baptiste Tremblay, a cuddly stuffed moose, my sole moral support in all of this. When the plenary assembly was lifted more than 5 hours later, I daresay it came as a relief to all those working on the plenary team.
Greetings from the front,