I believe travelling is the best way to open our minds and our hearts to new ideas and possibilities. Travelling is how we meet people who are so very different from us in perspective, customs and traditions, but who with time and conversation, we discover are so fundamentally the same. We are human no matter in what corner of the globe we reside and that is how we are able to connect despite language barriers and cultural differences. This is how we can understand the happiness and pain of others and why we have the need to help.
Is this not why many of us are in medical school?
Is this not why medical students get together from around the world to learn from each other?
This is my first year involved in the IFMSA and I have been amazed by all the people I have had the opportunity to meet; people who have such infectious passion for what they do; people that I am honoured to be able to work with. The IFMSA truly embodies international cooperation between medical students and I am so happy that I have found myself within its ranks.
My name is Susan and I am the IFMSA Local Officer for Research Exchange at McGill University. I help manage the flow of incoming and outgoing students on international exchange and what better way to learn how to better serve my role than to attend a multi-national meeting where I can learn from my peers and counterparts within the IFMSA.
As the theme of this year’s RM, we will all have the opportunity to learn about the different health care systems in the Americas from the people who use it, and who will one day be a part of it. Ideas can be exchanged, problems can be discussed and we can learn from each other how things work, why things work, and how each of our systems has potential for improvement. This knowledge can then be brought back and shared with the medical students of each country and maybe ignite a spark even if only in the mind of one student who wants to do something.
My hope is to be inspired, meet new friends, maybe learn a few words of Spanish, and of course participate in the rich discussions that will no doubt be taking place. And maybe slip in a few hours of sleep here and there.
I am very excited to be going on my first IFMSA meeting to El Salvador in less than one month’s time. As an avid photographer, you can be sure that I will be taking plenty of pictures of every aspect of my stay. I will definitely have to figure out how to upload pictures into my entries. With any luck, I will have enough time outside of the meeting not only to update this blog, but also to enjoy the beautiful weather and sights in El Salvador.
I don’t know what to expect, but I am eager to find out.
A great adventure awaits!