Pre-RM : What I have learned so far
I hope that you are enjoying your winter as much as I am enjoying this Colombian summer. I would like to take the time to reflect on the Pre-Regional Meeting I attended in Armenia.
What did I do?
Everyday, I assisted presentations from IFMSA trainers about public health because I am a LOPH (Local Officer for Public Health) at Laval University. Every night, we had a social program that allowed us to get to know a lot of students from the Americas and make new friends
What did I learn about?
The theme of the workshops and presentations was climate change and its influence on public health. We usually don’t correlate these too topics, but I am now informed how they are directly linked to one another. For instance, in countries with very warm temperature, we are witnessing a rise of dengue. Dengue is a mosquito-bound disease that infect all ages and that has 4 serotypes. Getting infected once has a okay prognostic, however, getting infected by another serotype, some time later, results in the transformation of the initial classic type of dengue into a haemorrhagic one. Haemorrhagic dengue causes artery and vein fragility and leads to high rates of mortality. Why are dengue rates increasing? The heat is accelerating the rate of reproduction of mosquitos, therefore increasing the risks of contracting the virus.
On another note, I learned about communication skills. The one lesson I can share with you that has stuck with me (a person who has a tendency of speaking very quickly when I get nervous) is that the listener has taken the time to listen to you, so take your time to talk to them. I also learned a lot about external representation, and how, as medical students, we have numerous opportunities abroad or locally to represent millions of IFMSA students
I would like to thank IFMSA for this wonderful experience.
Aline D. Khatchikian