It has been a mere few days since the end of the RM in El Salvador. I am back home in Montreal, back to classes, studying, snow and routine. From this point of view, the RM feels like a faraway dream. I had an unforgettable time, met amazing friends from all over the Americas, learned a great deal about myself and my role as a member in IFMSA and grew as a person. Now after the regional meeting, I feel like little porcelain ballerina who has been removed from my perfect little snow globe world and placed into reality. Despite the post RM blues however, I feel like I have a new fire within me, a resolve to do more, to implement what I have learned and to get even more involved!
I have attended other conferences in the past, but I have never felt the same way as I felt during my time in El Salvador. There was a sense of immediate belonging within the lovely PAMSA family. And together we had an unquenchable curiosity for knowledge and a wild ambition that was nothing short of unstoppable. It was simply the perfect storm for taking over the medical world!
I have been inspired by every single person I met and there are a few things I would like to do in the next few months until the end of my term:
1) I would like to draft a welcome package for incoming students with the help of my local committee at McGill as well as the local committee at the Université de Montréal by the summer and receive some feedback from incoming students.
2) I would like to write up a contract and guidelines as well as hold a training meeting for contact people to better help the incoming students coming to McGill later this year including some intercultural training.
3) And I would also like to help achieve tangible results with the development of a social program for IFMSA-Quebec, and if not, at least have some sort of simple social program in place for the incoming students to McGill this year involving an activity where students have a chance to discuss their respective healthcare systems and problems.
I don’t know if I will be able to achieve all of this, but I will definitely try my best. Now that I know that there is a support network for me, friends from all over the world trying to reach the same goals and accomplish the same tasks, I no longer feel alone on this journey and until next time I see my dear friends again, I hope I will be able to achieve some results! As they say, “Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”.
I have spoken of my plans for the future, now in reflection, I had 4 goals coming into this RM and I think I have been able to accomplish them all:
1) I did indeed learn a lot not just about different health systems but about leadership, about intercultural learning, about the social determinants of health, about conflict management and much much much more!
2) I engaged and enriched discussions in my session and took away so much from my colleagues who also had so much knowledge to share.
3) I met so many different people from all over the Americas and the world and I hope some of these friendships will last me a lifetime and result in cooperation in many different pursuits.
4) I updated this blog regularly and although I didn’t take as many pictures as I usually do, there were so many people taking pictures from every angle that there really was no need to
Just to demonstrate how great of a learning experience this RM has been for me, I would also like to share a little event from my life. Yesterday, I have the first class of my Inter professional Global Health course at McGill and I was amazed to find that so many of the things mentioned I had just seen and discussed during the last week in El Salvador! The best part is, so much of the learning that took place was so dynamic and discussion based that I hadn’t even realized all that I had learned. Now looking back, I realized that I have been able to take away so much invaluable lessons that I will never forget.
Thank you my dear friends from the Organizing Committee and the entire PAMSA family! I am so happy to have had the pleasure of meeting you all and I hope I will see you all again soon <3
I have so much left to say, but no words could express this complex mass of feelings within me right now. Sometimes, the best thing to say is just to say nothing. And so I leave you with a moment of silence as I replay the memories of my RM experience over and over again in my head. Every sound, every smell, every sight, every touch, every smile…