Not all those who wander are lost

Not all those who wander are lost

At least… that’s what they say.

You may rest assured, dear reader, that I, for one, am exactly the kind of person that gets lost every so often – whether it be in a new country, or a few kilometers from my own home (in which I have lived, by the way, all 23 years of my humble existence), and I plan on doing just that with my one spare day in Tunis, before I head of to Hammamet.

I’m Joel Neves Briard, currently a « prep year » medical student at the University of Montreal (UdeM).  For those unfamiliar with the Quebec medical school curriculum, I am currently completing a probationary and preparatory year in medicine before tackling the real-deal-MD-program, seeing I obtained my Bachelor’s in a non-health science related field (chemistry & management, for the curious minded).  I confess that I’m finding it pretty challenging, but that’s exactly what I signed up for!

Despite the fact that I’m one of the new kids on the block at UdeM, I was very warmly welcomed by IFMSA-Québec into its family when I was appointed just a few weeks into school by its Executive Board to serve as IFMSA-Québec’s Secretary-General for the 2013-2014 term, a mandate which has propelled me to further my personal understanding of, and my involvement in, the socioeconomic and world issues that have a significant (but too often overlooked) impact on the health of individuals around the world.  It goes without saying that I am deeply a humanist (the side-effects of which, I do confess, include a lack of realism sometimes), and I do believe that social justice can be served in much greater efficiency for the obtention of a greater common good.  On this aspect, I have profoundly been inspired by a particular phrase from John Rawl’s book A Theory of Justice:

Even the willingness to make an effort, to try, and so to be deserving in the ordinary sense is dependent on social circumstances and happy family.

Without further ado (as we have been told to keep these blog posts relatively short for the reader’s pleasure), I’d like to share with you all a few of my objectives as one of the Québec delegates to this General Assembly:

  1. To engage with at least ten (10) other NMOs in discussions revolving around long-term strategic planning (in light of my mandate to lead the 2014-2017 IFMSA-Québec Strategic Planning Committee) in order to sample and comprehend the approach taken by countries around the world to ensure a steady and sustainable growth of their NMO;
  2. To assist my NMO president, Ms Claudel P-Desrosiers – which, let it be known, I greatly admire – in our deliberations and participation in the Presidents’ Session, in form and in style;
  3. To ensure, to my greatest capacities, that the proposals made by IFMSA-Québec, as well as those that the IFMSA-Québec delegation has jointly judged to be in the best interest of our NMO and of IFMSA, are well understood and defended in plenary sessions (and all other unofficial venues where the « good news » can be instilled) in order for the later to be adopted by the Assembly;
  4. To honour my NMO by showing tomorrow’s medical world leaders how hardworking, involved and awesome we Quebeckers are;
  5. To contribute to the success and growth of other NMOs by sharing ideas our NMO has had in the past for projects or governance issues that may transcend our borders;
  6. To take advantage of this culturally rich experience to grow as an individual.

Needless to say, I am really looking forward to this GA… and I will be soaking it all in for you guys.  Hope our blog keeps you entertained and wanting to read more.



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