I would like to acknowledge Kaurna people, the original custodians of this land, and recognise the relationship between Indigenous people and the lands and waters of the Adelaide Plains, on which we learn and grow every day.
It’s the little things in life that count, a learning that has been very much at the forefront of my experience as the President of FMSS this year.
The small, new initiatives in FMSS’ events calendar this year aim to empower our members and community, and facilitate learning and change. Following our Prep Week Expo event, to welcome our newest MD1 colleagues, FMSS hosted our first LGBTQIA+ health seminar. Our members were lucky to hear from three speakers from SHINE SA, and a student from our community, all of whom educated us about the little ways in which can alter our clinical approach and communication to become inclusive practitioners. We were privileged to hear about the lived experience of members of the LGBTQIA+ community, heart-broken to learn about the discrimination they have encountered, but truly inspired by their courage, perseverance and willingness to share their stories for the benefit of our learning. This event was also attended by staff in the College of Medicine and Public Health, exemplifying that at every step of our journeys, there is so much to learn, not only has health practitioners, but as humans who are willing to stand for and support each other.
In addition to our exciting and engaging events calendar, student advocacy is an integral part of our society’s mission, and we are thrilled by what our team has achieved within the first few months of 2022. It has truly been an emotional time for our final year students, who dreamed of travelling overseas and interstate for elective placements, which has been complicated by the current climate. Our richly positive relationship with the College of Medicine and Public Health has enabled us to support our international student body and understand the requirements they must complete prior to being able to practice overseas. Furthermore, travelling interstate for electives has now been approved by our University. This is such an exciting development for our MD4s, as it increases the variety of placements students can participate in, augmenting learning diversity.
Recently, I was invited to speak at the Information in Surgery Journal Club at Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, on the topic of leadership. Having the platform to share FMSS’ mission amongst colleagues from another university felt honourable and uniting. I spoke about the different models of leadership, including some examples of Indigenous models of leadership, the advantages and challenges of being in a leadership position, and how the quality of leadership can be demonstrated by all students and professionals in our daily lives. Inter-university opportunities as such are instrumental in facilitating integration between our medical schools, supporting workplace cohesiveness and collegiality.
On our own University grounds, I have observed a flurry of activity at Flinders Medical Centre. Our pre-clinical years are back on campus for their lectures, all clinical students are successfully and safely on placement, and the FMSS calendar is in full-swing. I hope that our students can continue to have a largely uninterrupted University experience, as we find our way in this new normal.
President of FMSS