Whirlwind of a Day

Whirlwind of a Day

I asked for it. The business, the sleeplessness, the chaos!

As busy as it was, this whirlwind of a first day proved to be very enlightening indeed.

The SCORP sessions started off with a keynote address from Dr. Terry Mulligan, Emergency Physician with international experience in introducing and building of emergency medicine systems. This means that Dr. Mulligan travels to countries with zero structure for emergency medicine and starts from the ground up through training emergency medical professionals and establishing infrastructures (training ambulance personnel, building emegency room’s etc…). Dr. Mulligan made it clear that primary care has an integral place in health and that working for its efficiency is an extremely important human right’s issues, especially concerning Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). He also gave suggestions on what we as medical students can do to work for this goal: 

1. Network with our national Emergency Medicine Associations (find yours via the IFEM website http://www.ifem.cc).

2. Contact officials to attend IFEM conferences as IFMSA representatives.

After this very informative session, we went on to Regional Hour. This is where all of IFMSA’s regions split up and talk about the key human right’s issues present as well as about the current project ideas that are functioning within these regions. I was set to facilitate for the Asia Pacific region. It was extremely inspiring and informative to learn about the key issues present in these areas (the negativity and stigma regarding North Korea and prevention of nuclear war…). Some of the projects that came out of this regional hour was equally as stimulating: for example EMR’s awareness project on World Refugee Day, PAMSA’s project on Aboriginal Health… seeing this collective effort is yet another reminder of the incredible potential we have as a federation to work towards health equity.

After the sessions we rushed off to NMO hour, where we had the pleasure of meeting the CFMS delegation. It was really nice to get to see people from home, there’s always comfort in speaking and seeing members of IFMSA-Québec.

It was at that moment that I learned I would be giving a training on fundraising. Yipee, my first training!!!

After the regional meeting, we head to the joint SCOPH and SCORP sessions, where we focus on mental health through public health approaches and human rights approaches (with an emphasis on stigmatization and the various human rights challenges people suffering from mental illness face – such as forced institutionalization, discrimination, abuse of guardianship, and lack of access to education and employment). We then split up into small working groups with specific task forces. It just so happens that Alexandra Trottier (coordinator for the OSMOSE project – a peer education program raising awareness about mental health in High Schools) and I were appointed the SWG on constructing a mental health awareness program in high schools! Fate was clearly on our side. We were thus able to promote the OSMOSE project to other NMOs and were able to send out our emails so that participants that were interested could obtain a starting kit to kick-start the project for real in their NMO. The feedback we got on the project was very positive and I strongly believe there is a serious interest to starting this project throughout IFMSA.

But the day isn’t over yet…

At the project presentations I learn about the Rainbow Project (an anti-homophobia campaign), as well as a trans-national project on organ donation awareness. I have sent out emails to the project coordinators to explore possible collaboration with existing IFMSA-Québec projects.

After popping my head in the plenary, I head to finish my preparation for the training on fundraising with my fellow trainers, and finish preparing the sessions for the next SCORP-filled morning.

Indeed, ’twas a busy, chaotic, hectic, insane, inspiring, enlighening first day. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the GA has in store!

With best wishes,


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