Till we meet again!
Despite having had little time these past few days to complete my blog posts for this March Meeting (I had to rush home after the GA to prepare for an exam!), I’m glad to now close off this chapter of IFMSA-Québec’s GA assemblies with a few remarks on Day 6, and a review of my initial objectives, as well as a final note on my experience.
The final day was one rich in learning and sharing for me. I began by participating in two sessions run by the IFMSA Treasurer, Ben Skov Kaas-Hansen, on strategic planning: the first was designed for NMO presidents, and the second, for members participating in the NMO Management stream. Ben was a great speaker and instilled us with easy to understand and powerful tools. I particularly enjoyed putting his lessons into action during the second session, where I got to work with three Spanish medical students on a specific objective (augmenting the quality of their internal officer training to fully equip their members with the tools they need to best perform their duties).
NMO hour was short and sweet and was followed by some pool time (only for the brave!). I thereafter prepared my luggage, and attended the last plenary session, which was followed by a closing ceremony. The last social event of the GA, the famed « National Food and Drink Party », was definitely my favourite party. Patrick has done a fair job at explaining the content of the party here. I actually didn’t sleep that night at all, and got to the 7am bus leaving for Tunis right on time!
Shoutout to my cousins in Portugal who I was very happy to see are extremely implicated at the national and international scales… It was awesome to meet you and see you at work!
Now to evaluate my performance with respect to my objectives… Here we go!
- 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. RESULT: I engaged with 8 NMOs, 2 short of the target! I unfortunately underestimated the quantity of NMOs that had already engaged in this process. Thankfully, I was able to take home some great quality comments and advice from friends all over the world (notably: UK, Germany, Canada, Japan, Estonia, Tanzania, Denmark, …)
- 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. RESULT: I cannot comment on this very much, as Claudel could be the only real judge. The only point I can make is that I strived to be as accessible and helpful as I could.
- 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. RESULT: Considering the quantity of Bylaw Proposals and Policy Statements we submitted, to realize that only one did not succeed is truly awesome! It was saddening to watch our proposal on the Financial Committee get knocked down by only four votes, but I think that the proposal has a ton of potential, and an edited version could be presented at the next GA. By then, NMOs will have had the time to meditate and realize its pertinence. Great job to all those who worked on proposals and stances all across the globe!
- To honour my NMO by showing tomorrow’s medical world leaders how hardworking, involved and awesome we Quebeckers are. RESULT: People had but positive things to say of Quebec medical students, I think we’re doing a pretty solid job here!!
- 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. RESULT: I was glad to share some of our projects with other NMOs (especially during the Projets Fair), as well as having discussions on how we govern our NMO (throughout the week, with both presidents and vice-presidents as well as local and national officers from different committees).
- To take advantage of this culturally rich experience to grow as an individual. RESULT: I definitely have taken a lot out of this experience, both at a personal level (e.g. particularly to traveling alone in unknown countries) and a professional level (e.g. the utility of a certain dosage of diplomacy in relationships with other bodies).
Despite some of the flaws I have outlined throughout my blog posts, this remains an EXTREMELY enriching experience. You will work hard, you will party hard, and you will come back exhausted… but you will have learned and grown as a future physician, and most of all, you will have contributed to the advancement of the medical profession around the world. Although the results of your work are not tangible or even foreseeable, I assure you that you have created potentiel, you have helped the world take a baby step forward in the right direction. You will have fulfilled your duty to engage in social measures to improve health in your home country and abroad, and you will have been a beacon to guide your peer medical students in IFMSA-Quebec’s vision to make of the medical profession synonymous with social implication.
But that was last week. Today is a new day… what are you doing about it?