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THE QUARTERLY MAGAZINE

VOL 1 ISSUE 1


LETTER FROM THE CHAIR It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the first edition of our new and exciting AMSA International Quarterly Magazine. Established in 1985, AMSA International has quickly established itself as the leading medical student organisation in the Asia-Pacific region. Our Executive Committee have been working tirelessly over the last few months to expand our offerings to AMSA International members - to ensure that you are kept informed of the latest in AMSA International news and projects. You would have noticed new initiatives such as our inaugural eNewsletters, delivered to your inbox monthly, in addition to the new Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep you updated with all things AMSA International. We’ve also added a new Electives section on our website, which includes valuable resources as well as tips for planning an overseas elective. Our new partnership with The Electives Network will also provide you with tangible benefits of being an AMSA International member – discounts on any subscriptions purchased through their website. Membership benefits have also been extended through our new partnership with Kaplan – the premier USMLE preparation course providers. As AMSA International members, you can receive a 10% discount off any Kaplan product! It’s an exciting time to be a medical student and we are looking forward to contributing to improving your medical student experiences. The East Asian Medical Students’ Conference, one of two bi-annual conferences held each year by AMSA International, is less than 2 months away. It won’t be long until over 300 delegates from across the region descend upon Singapore for an informative and enjoyable conference looking at Infectious Diseases in depth! I look forward to seeing you all there! Warmest Regards,

Joseph Assad Overall Chairperson


CONTENTS ARTICLES

ENEWS ARTICLES

Joint Conference 2011, Hong Kong

5

Sabah, A Place of Nature, Culture and Beauty

7

A Pre-Joint Conference Project: “Modern and Traditional Cure, Together We Explore”

11

AMSA Delegates’ Achievement in ISCOMS, The Netherlands

12

AMSA International’s World Breastfeeding Week Essay Comp

14

World Breastfeeding Week Essay: Winning Submission

14

Join up with The Electives Network!

19

Cho Ray Hospital – Vietnam

20

Putting Patient’s Safety First

21

Reflection on Joint Conference, Hong Kong 2011

22

A Glance: Joint Conference Hong Kong 2011

23

Kaplan Partnership with AMSA International

25

From Group Members to a Team: The AMSA Get Together!

27

AMSA Pakistan at Healthcare and Medical Education Expo 2011

29


ARTICLES


articleS

Joint Conference 2011, Hong Kong AMSA Hong Kong by Stefanie Yip, Publications and Promotion Councilor of AMSA Hong Kong (stefanie.yip@amsahk.org)

Lasting bonds, dark circles under the eyes, and fruitful feelings were some of the things that the 500 medical student delegates who attended the eight-day Joint Conference took away. The much awaited, unprecedented Joint Conference in Hong Kong kicked off to a warm start on June 25th, 2011. The theme was on the highly pertinent issue of ‘Integrative Medicine: evidence-based traditional, complementary and alternative medicine in modern medical practice,’ enabling medical students to explore the inter-connections between traditional and Western medicines. The Joint Conference 2011 was unprecedented for it represented an amalgamation between the annual Asian Medical Students’ Conference of AMSA International and the Asia Pacific Regional Meeting of the IFMSA. Delegates came from 25 different countries across Asia-Pacific, including Australia, Bangladesh, Chile, China, Egypt, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom and Ukraine. Hence the Joint Conference also became a celebration of diversity and international spirit as it united together medical students from diverse backgrounds, religions and cultures. Not only was the Joint Conference a major highlight in the AMSA calendar, but also it was a high profile event in the medical community and beyond. It was broadcasted by local media as well as attended by honorable guests like Dr. York Chow, Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Lee Sum Ping, and Professor Fok Tai Fai, the Deans of the

medical faculties of the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong respectively.

The Joint Conference established a platform for medical students from all across Asia-Pacific to exchange their ideas and knowledge on integrative medicine. Delegates received keynote lectures from experts in the field of evidence based integrative medicine. Furthermore, they were stimulated by the UN Millenium Development Goals’ sessions, which were a series of lectures and workshops conducted by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, aimed at enriching delegates’ critical thinking skills as they were asked to propose solutions to complex real life situations. Simply learning about traditional, complementary, and


alternative medicine would have been a bit dry without some first-hand experience. So delegates were invited to attend site visits and workshops in which some delegates witnessed the developments of integrative medicine in Hong Kong through visits to hospitals, schools and public museums of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Meanwhile, other delegates received hands-on tryouts of acupuncture and ba guan (fire glass cupping). It was not a surprise that some delegates went home having six circular, bright red marks on their back, a souvenir from the Joint Conference! To stimulate progress through friendly competitions, the Joint Conference held academic competitions in four categories - research paper, scientific poster, public poster, and video. Each country’s delegation represented its region and the submissions were of such high caliber that the adjudicators had a difficult time deciding on the winners. The results of the competitions are as follows: Paper Competition 1st place: Malaysia 2nd place: China 3rd place: India Video Competition 1st place: Philippines 2nd place: Australia 3rd place: Thailand Scientific Poster Regional Competition 1st place: South Korea 2nd place: Thailand 3rd place: Philippines Scientific Poster Open Competition 1st place: Goh et al Public Poster Regional Competition 1st place: Malaysia 2nd place: China 3rd place: Philippines

Public Poster Open Competition 1st place: An Xuanqi

Another highlight of the Joint Conference was the opportunity to serve others in the community. The theme of the conference’s community service activities was ‘Fall Prevention in live alone elderly.’ After receiving talks on fall prevention, delegates formed small groups and visited elderly homes in government estates. With each elderly the delegates visited, they assessed his/her risks of falling, gave advice on household fall prevention through the on-site visits, and of course engaged in a warm dialogue with their newfound elderly friend. Such visits brought out a sense of empathy and care from the delegates. As being medical practitioners ultimately involves taking care of and interacting with people, the IFMSA coordinated training workshops to enhance soft skills, with topics including leadership development, communication skills, presentation skills, handover, negotiation, project management, time management, peer education and conflict resolution. In addition, delegates were encouraged to share their passion, knowledge and ideas in the Project Presentation Fair, which was an exhibition of local and international projects conducted by medical students in the past year. The projects were classified into various categories – public


health, medical education, exchange programmes, research programmes, and human rights and peace. The diversity of the projects displayed during the fair was a testament to our belief that being medical students involved more than just studying. To augment the delegates’ knowledge of the six Standing Committees of the IFMSA, delegates were exposed to Standing Committee sessions, in which each delegate could choose a session to attend, from the Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH), Standing Committee on Medical Education (SCOME), Standing Research Exchange (SCORE), Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace (SCORA), or Standing Committee on Professional Exchange (SCOPE). The Joint Conference was also a celebration of diversity. Cravings for both the mouth and the eyes were slaked in the much-anticipated AMSA International Booth. Each delegation showcased its countries’ signature delicacies and crafts, lighting up a vibrant atmosphere that provided a brilliant opportunity for cultural exchange. Strolling along, we were greeted by a rich concoction of aromas lingering in the air, composed of local herbs from Malaysia, infamous Danish hotdogs, sweet, glutinous dessert from Philippines, and much more! For those who liked to appreciate the arts more, there were traditional costumes, including hanbok (Korea), kimono (Japan), and qipao (China), hand-made key chains, fans of different shapes and sizes, and exquisite instruments.

the International Food and Drink Party. Each delegation hosted a local table to present its country’s signature cuisine. Everyone had a great time enjoying the food, snacks and drinks from all across Asia-Pacific. Having appreciated the different cultures from around the world, the delegates were immersed in Hong Kong’s oriental culture in the Cultural Bazaar. They received hands-on experience of Lion Dancing, cooking Chinese cuisines, replicating Chinese decors from simple materials, practicing Chinese calligraphy and learning Kung Fu. Moreover, the Joint Conference in Hong Kong would not have been complete without paying a visit to the scenic sights of the Pearl of the Orient. Delegates went sightseeing in the Peak, which offered excellent views of the renowned Victoria Harbour. The Joint Conference 2011 culminated with the momentous Cultural Night. We were thrilled by the creative performances from each delegation and the flamboyant cultural costumes worn by the delegates. The conglomeration of modern and traditional dances that were performed provided a genuine feast for the eyes! The atmosphere was electrifying and delegates from the floor eagerly joined in with the singing, clapping and moves of the dancers on the stage. During the night, delegates also exchanged farewells, as the Cultural Night officially marked the end of the Joint Conference 2011. Nobody wanted the night to end.

Instead of having a normal lunch on day 7, we indulged in

Sabah, A Place of Nature, Culture and Beauty Asian Medical Students’ Exchange Programme (AMSEP) Sabah by Yap Wai Leong and Eddie Lim Wei Ming


Greetings from Sabah, the Land below the Wind! Located in Borneo, we offer you a cocktail of mountains and beaches, people and cultures; all at your fingertips! In the center of its capital city, Kota Kinabalu, Universiti Malaysia Sabah stands proud as a tertiary educational institution. Your host, the Asian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) of the School of Medicine gladly invites all international medical students under the Asian Medical Students’ Exchange Programme (AMSEP) to experience the sights and treasures that this land can offer. The Land of Sabah offers you: Mount Kinabalu: Stand and gaze upon the HIGHEST mountain in the whole of South East Asia, standing an astonishing 4095 metres above sea level! Tanjung Simpang Mengayau aka Tip of Borneo: Enjoy the sea water lapping at your feet, at the NORTHENMOST tip of Borneo, overlooking the Sulu Sea! Tunku Abdul Rahman Park: Comprising of 3 beautiful islands – Manukan, Mamutik and Sapi Islands, it is only a boat’s ride away from Kota Kinabalu. A perfect haven for sea life and nature lovers! Tanjung Aru Beach: Walk on the fine sand along 1 of the most beautiful beaches here in Kota Kinabalu. Bask in the evening glow and watch the sun slowly dip behind the endless horizon of the South China Sea. Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu: Sunday morning buzzes all along this famous street! Inviting all who loves bargaining for a fair price! You can get your Sabah souvenirs for a cheap and reasonable price here. Monsopiad Cultural Village: Experience the different traditions and customs of the natives, and dance along to the beat of the Sabahan heart. The abundant cultures of Sabah folk all located under one roof.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah: The most beautiful university in the whole of Malaysia. Take a tour with us around the campus and we’ll show you what our university and the School of Medicine faculty have to offer. Join us also as we take a peek into the life of the average medical student here in Universiti Malaysia Sabah. You’ll get to follow along the footsteps of a 2nd year student as they attend their lectures and Clinical Skill Laboratory sessions. You will also participate as a 4th year medical student heading off to tertiary hospitals in Kota Kinabalu for exciting sessions of Bedside Teachings. The School of Medicine, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, is wellknown for our specialty in rural medicine and primary health care. Throughout the programme, international delegates will have the opportunity to experience a health promotion campaign among the rural villages in Sabah. See and enjoy the smiles of the children as they thank you for your dedication and participation. Finally, end it all with days of sightseeing and tours to the many exciting places that the beautiful land of Sabah has to offer. Previous AMSEP delegates say… “When I was in Sabah, I was held in awe by the beaches,


mountains, villages and the sights of the city which we had the chance to visit and explore!” – Indonesian delegates

We promise you a journey that you’ll never forget! Contact NOW:

“I hope that the memories that we had together will never be forgotten… It was a wonderful journey coming to Sabah, Malaysia!” – Indonesian delegates JOIN us now on the Asian Medical Students’ Exchange Programme (AMSEP) Sabah!

1. 2.

Yap Wai Leong Eddie Lim Wei Ming

dan_ywl@hotmail.com eddielwm@gmail.com


ENEWS ARTICLES


ENEWS 1 articleS

A Pre-Joint Conference Project: “Modern and Traditional Cure, Together We Explore” AMSA Malaysia by Tan Yik Ping, Assistant Director of Pre-Joint Conference Project 2011, Public Health Officer of AMSA Malaysia

AMSA Malaysia proudly brought to the public another public health program in conjunction with the joint conference in Hong Kong this end of June 2011. This is also a maiden program from AMSA Malaysia which involved a collaboration of 2 universities, namely The National University of Malaysia (UKM) and International Medical University, Malaysia (IMU). With the theme of ‘Modern and Traditional Cure, Together We Explore”, the program was successfully held in Tropicana City Mall, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the 5th June 2011. This program was aimed at exposing to the public various methods of seeking treatment other than the modern way of visiting a western doctor, as well as increasing the public’s scope of knowledge in relation to traditional medicine. The one-day program started with the Opening Ceremony officiated by esteemed Dr. Christopher Ho. In his speech, Dr. Christopher noted that he was glad to witness medical students organising programs whilst undertaking the heavy workload of medical studies. Representatives from the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Division (BPTK), Ministry of Health and various local traditional and complementary medicine companies were also invited to attend to provide informative exhibition to the public, to supplement the program

put together by AMSA Malaysia. Our wonderful DJ and emcee played an integral part in gaining the public’s attention through creative and innovative dialogues. Among the highlights of the event were the on-stage sessions where the public had to answer questions prepared by the DJ to walk away with fabulous prizes. A total of 6 hampers and ‘Tongkat Ali’ products were given away in the 2-hours’ slot. We were also fortunate to have Dr. Liew, a lecturer from the International Medical University present a speech about decision making between modern and traditional


cures. She stressed that there is no definitive right or wrong when it comes to making decisions and one must be flexible based on statistical evidence. She also briefly discussed the correct procedures when seeking traditional treatment and concerns surrounding the ‘bomoh’ approach. As a part of the event, medical officers and medical students from The National University of Malaysia, the International Medical University and Monash University (Sunway Campus Malaysia) also offered some basic medical screening for visitors. This clinical booth screening program was carried out throughout the entire day.

were glad that the event was successful – knowledge was gained and spread, skills were practiced, and friends made. Last but not least, we wish to extend a special thanks to Dr. Christopher, Dr. Mohd Faizal - who helped out as a consultant at our clinical booth, and Dr. Liew - for her informative yet interesting speech. Of course, we mustn’t forget to forget to mention the committee members for their support and hard work over the past 2 months! Watch out for more AMSA programs in the future! “Building Bridges, Sharing Dreams”

The program ended at around 7.00pm. Although tiring, we

AMSA Delegates’ Achievement in ISCOMS, The Netherlands AMSA Indonesia by Rudy Kurniawan

The International Student Congress of (bio)Medical Science (ISCOMS) is the world’s largest annual congress and has a key focus on medical research. The 18th annual ISCOMS was held at the University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands from June 7th to 10th 2011. This year, over 40 countries were in attendance. The ISCOMS is a unique congress in that it is conducted by a non-profit organisation made up of students with the aim to promote research among medical students in the world.

respective research through oral and poster presentations. Also included in the program were a variety of workshops and lectures from prominent speakers, focusing on their research and the influence of their discoveries in the world of medicine. A noteable speaker in the program was Professor Sir Tim Hunt, Nobel Prize winner in 2011 for his discovery with Leland Hartwell and Sir Paul Nurse in relation to the key aspects of cell cycle control, cyclin proteins, and cyclin dependent kinase components.

At the 2011 ISCOMS, medical student participants from countries all over the world were stimulated to increase their interest in the field of research. At the event participants were able to share with fellow attendees and leading research figures the details and findings of their

AMSA International had the great opportunity to contribute to ISCOMS by sending two delegates, Rudy Kurniawan and Felix Chikita Fredy, final year student at Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia. Further to this, Rudy Kurniawan represented AMSA International not only in a


general delegate capacity but also as a presenter, presenting to ISCOMS his study entitled “The relationship between the CD4 + T-lymphocyte count and type of tuberculosis in TBHIV co-infected patients in Indonesia”. Congratulations to Rudy Kurniawan and his team, who got the award for the best oral presentation in the infectious diseases research presentation session. In addition to the academic sessions, ISCOMS also featured a diverse social program with events ranging from the welcoming party, to dinner at a lakeside castle with stunning views, to the global village party at which participants dressed in traditional country dress. ISCOMS also tried to introduce Dutch culture through the post-congress tours which were attended by more than half of the total participants. Participants travelled to the National Park De Hoge Velowe - the largest nature reserve in the Netherlands, where they were able to tour the national park by bike and visit the Kröller-Müller Museum, which stores a large collection paintings by Vincent van Gogh and many other art items. Participants were also given the opportunity to paint on traditional wooden shoes and wear traditional Dutch clothes. All in all a very interesting and enjoyable time was had at ISCOMS. Our participants were able to learn a great deal from the events provided, and were also given a fantastic opportunity to promote and represent AMSA International. The event was a great way to showcase

AMSA International to other medical students in Europe and other non-Asia Pacific countries, and share our scope of work, membership and various programs. In future we hope that even more medical students will be interested in the field of research as one step forward in medicine. We would like to thank AMSA International for the opportunity given to us, the Faculty of MedicineUniversitas Indonesia as our home for studying and doing research, and also to Garuda Indonesia, the largest airline company in Indonesia, which provided sponsorship to attend the congress.


ENEWS 2 articleS

AMSA International’s World Breastfeeding Week Essay Comp AMSA International by Nydia Rena Benita

Hi AMSA Members! On the 1st – 7th of August, AMSA International commemorated World Breastfeeding Week by inviting members to participate in the inaugural World Breastfeeding Week essay competition. In 2011 World Breastfeeding Week was focused on the theme “TALK TO ME! Breastfeeding – A 3D Experience”, emphasising the role of communication as an essential part

of protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding. AMSA International is proud to report that the essay competition attracted interest from many members, and following a long process of assessment, the judges have decided upon LIM HUI WEN from Malaysia as the winner. AMSA International is very pleased to see medical students demonstrate an awareness about breastfeeding health and awareness, and we look forward to running more of these competitions in the future!

World Breastfeeding Week Essay: Winning Submission AMSA Malaysia by Lim Hui Wen

I first saw Titi on my way to school. It was a hot afternoon when I first spotted this plump woman, probably in her early 30’s, messing around with her baju kurung behind a big Angsana tree. I was watching from afar and found this scene particularly fascinating. “Perhaps she needs some help over there”. So, without much hesitation, I approached her and see if there is anything I could do. Suddenly, this woman stopped all her fidgeting. This time,

curiosity caught the better of me. Instead of returning to where I was, I quickened my pace towards that woman. I tapped on her shoulder and before I could even utter a word, she turned to me with a broad smile on her face, and then she signalled me to keep my voice down. I was surprised. With a closer look, I saw the most amazing picture ever! She was cradling her baby on her right arm with the baby’s mouth gently suckling on her nipple. She was breastfeeding this new life with her very own formulas!


That was how I know Kak Titi. Later, she told me that she worked in a nearby insurance company and has just returned to work when her paid maternity leave ended a week ago. When I asked her why she breastfed her daughter, Ida, outdoor, she told me with great regret that this was the only resort she had since there was not a single suitable corner at her workplace suitable for her to nurse her baby. Kak Titi later bid me goodbye and left for her work. I never met Kak Titi after that but the incident of her nursing her baby under the Angsana etched on my mind ever since. The actual condition of breastfeeding in the country That was generally the situation of breastfeeding in Malaysia in the early 90s. However, in recent years, with concerted and collaborative efforts from Malaysia government and NGOs like Malaysia Breastfeeding Association and Malaysia Lactation Advisors & Consultation Association (PPPLM), situations began to take a turn for the better. First, we are proud to have a Malaysia government that conscientiously works to spread the awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding among women. For instance, all hospitals under the Ministry of Health are accredited BabyFriendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) hospitals. In addition to that, most of the hospitals are working towards becoming father-friendly hospitals and some of the hospitals have successfully attained the declaration recently. This is because a woman’s pregnancy and childbirth experience, which partly rely on spouse’s support, are believed to impact the initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding. Therefore, with such accreditations, maternity facilities can be fully utilized to enhance and promote breastfeeding among mothers in the hospital settings. There are 10 steps in order achieve the BFHI declaration, with step 10 being regarded as the most crucial in Malaysia:

“foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic”. It is essential in prolonging and maintaining exclusive breastfeeding, which is currently the main challenge in Malaysia. With the formation of strong breastfeeding support group constituting mainly peer counsellors, this group is gradually unleashing its potential in supporting the community. Malaysia is a multiracial society composing of majority Malay (67.4%), Chinese (24.6%), Indians (7.3%) and others (0.7%). Cultural norm dictates publicly exposing women’s breast as offensive and rude since it is not commonly practiced in the country. This is especially true to the Malays whereby according to al-Quran, the Muslims are required to cover their ‘aurat’(whole body except face and palms) and this has been practised by majority of the Muslims in Malaysia. According to a Muslim friend of mine, hair is considered ‘aurat’ and has to be well hidden with tudung(headdress). Thus, we rarely see Muslim mothers breastfeed their babies in public in Malaysia Religion only makes up part of the story in Malaysia. Generally speaking, Malaysia society is still a conservative society where we do not usually have mothers publicly breastfeed their babies as readily as Libyans’, Kenyans’ or Australians’ mothers since such practice is not a norm in Malaysia, yet. Most of the time, Malaysian mothers are uncomfortable with being frowned upon when they expose their breasts. Most of them also feel shy on revealing their breasts in the public because breasts are usually regarded as private and personal body parts in the East. Hence, the existence of a conducive environment proves to be essential in encouraging breastfeeding among Malaysians mothers. Realizing the dilemma Malaysians mothers are in, Malaysia government has come up with a complete, long-term plan to support mothers with appropriate facilities and policies. Take for example the 966 km stretch of North- South Expressway in Malaysia, which has rest and service areas equipped with breastfeeding


rooms about every 60 km. Besides, the government has mandated the facility of breastfeeding room in malls and complexes nationwide. With such policies in the country, mothers can now put their mind at ease even when they are away from home.

we focus on the local trend alone, exclusive breastfeeding rate in Malaysia has plummeted over the past decade, from 29% at 4 months (1996), despite huge effort in promoting Baby- Friendly Hospital Initiative and having higher initiation rates.

Besides, the country is fortunate to have a government that always keep working women’s welfares at heart. For instance, the project of setting up crèche is still ongoing in public sectors whereby the female staffs can breastfeed their babies even during working hours. With such facilities around, working mother can juggle between the demands of work and motherhood easily. Moreover, in addition to the maternity leaves, working mothers have the privilege of applying for breastfeeding leaves up to 3 months where they can prolong exclusive breastfeeding maximally. Besides that, working father in Malaysia can request for paid paternity leaves up to 7 days after his wife’s delivery so that he can morally support his wife in initiating breastfeeding. With continuous full support from both parents, maintenance of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months will yield a higher success rate.

There are several contributing factors to this depreciation and one of which include working mothers. In Malaysia, though working mothers are allowed to apply for 3-monthbreastfeeding leave in addition to the 2-month-maternity leave, majority of the women are not keen on applying it. This is simply because maternity leave is a paid leave. On the contrary, breastfeeding leave is not.

Problems that occur and what measures could be taken Yet, despite the concerted efforts from the government and NGOs, recent study from UNICEF and WHO have shown a declining breastfeeding across Asia Pacific regions, which of course include Malaysia. This revelation must be baffling and most of us must be wondering why. Apparently, the greatest challenge that the country has to deal with now is not how to create awareness among mothers but to maintain an exclusive breastfeeding in mothers for at least 6 months. This is because most women in the country are found to be nursing their babies exclusively for an average of only 2-4 months instead of minimally 6 months as recommended. Latest statistics revealed that Malaysian Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF) rate at 4 months is 19%, while at 6 months is only 14.5% and this deviates from global rate of 38% at 6 months. If

Obviously, salary is the key factor here. First and foremost, we must understand that the middle class forms the majority of Malaysians. To this “neither rich nor poor” class, life is like riding a bicycle to most of them and therefore they must keep moving in order to keep their balance. Since majority of working women falls in this stratum, they realize that they cannot afford to take unpaid leave solely for the sake of breastfeeding. As a result, they choose to sacrifice breastfeeding and start supplementing their babies with their hard-earned meager wages. Fortunately, with cooperative effort between Malaysia Federation of Employers and NGOs, negotiation is currently ongoing to prolong paid maternity leave so that working mother need not choose between job and breastfeeding. Hopefully, good news will ring the bells soon! In Malaysia, one of the challenges that the Ministry of Health and NGOs encountered this day is the low participation rate of private sectors in the country’s mission of advocating breastfeeding. Moreover, Malaysia government does not have complete authority over the corporate sectors. Hence, only with increased awareness and initiative among the private sectors that the effort can go further.


The corporate sector should start playing a more proactive role in promoting breastfeeding among the female employees. Or else, optimal improvement will never be attained. The lack of commitments from either party is not doing any good to the country’s vision of improving exclusive breastfeeding rate because it always takes two to tango. For instance, the corporate working mothers can be granted more flexible working hours so that they can breastfeed their babies. Besides, the company can prepare a discrete and cosy nursing room, for the working mothers so that they do not have to breastfeed sneakily under the desk. The best moves would of course be prolonging the maternal leave for the mothers, which I believe will mutually benefit both employees and employers in the long run.

sense that it contains antibodies, a component which can never be duplicated in formulated milk. In order to tackle this issue, any forms of marketing by milk companies are strictly prohibited in Malaysia government hospital in accordance to the BFHI guidelines. Moreover, the advertising of formulated milk is restricted by the government. For example, one will notice the absence of bottle feeding and only toddlers instead of babies are portrayed throughout the commercial. In addition to that, local government has enforced mandatory labelling on formulated milk stating that formulated milk is never a substitute to breast milk. These are some of the attempts done by local government which may seem small, but will have a significant impact on unethical marketing of infant formulas someday. Role of med students as the 3rd dimension – the care giver

Another issue that Malaysia is dealing with now is cultural misperception. Statistic has shown that Chinese in the country portrays the lowest rate of breastfeeding compared to Malays and Indians. This may be due to the conventional mindset of most in laws as in a traditional Chinese family, a married woman has the obligation to stay with the in laws and abide by their words. They forbid breastfeeding in their daughter –in- law because of the deep rooted superstitious belief that breastfeeding will distort one’s breast and other myths. Fortunately with continuous effort from the community support group and increased education level nowadays, we have started to observe a steady increase of breastfeeding rate in the Chinese. The same goes for the Indians where most of them believe that breast milk, especially the first milk or colostrums, is filthy and detrimental to mother’s health, hence must be discarded. In Malaysia, we observe that most mothers prefer bottle feeding over breastfeeding. This can be attributed to the fact that most women are oblivious of the nutritional fact of breast milk. They are unaware of the fact that breast milk is much more superior compared to infant formulas in the

Youths have long been equated with leading actors in this dynamic era and have always been known to be influential in their own unique way. As such, the role of medical students as a caregiver in advocating breastfeeding should never be underestimated. After all, who knows what this bunch of vibrant and creative neo-generations have in their pocket to command a global difference? There are a lot that a medical student can contribute. For an instance, with the knowledge they have, these students can easily be the best peer educators around to impart and inculcate the awareness among their friends and families. Only with early exposure and by having proper perception regarding breastfeeding among the youngsters, the norm can be instilled and created in a society. However, it is generally observed that most Malaysians youths shun away from speaking about issues related to private body parts, wherein breastfeeding is one of them as social stigma has long viewed breasts from a sexual standpoint. Hence, medical students must lead the change. They can start by encouraging their friends to dedicate


themselves in local breastfeeding promotion programmes. Besides, various workshops can be organized by medical students to educate and train these youths so that one day, they can go out there and support the community with sustain breastfeeding. Nevertheless, they can help the mothers in realizing their human rights towards breastfeeding. Youths should not feel shy to discuss about breastfeeding. Instead, they should pioneer the global efforts in diminishing the gap between breastfeeding in the private and in the public. They are known to be creative and capable of blending in fresh elements in promoting breastfeeding so that more people are accustomed to breastfeeding. For example, songs can be written to appraise the beauty of breastfeeding.

Moreover, in a clinical setting, medical students should not confine themselves to the pre- and post-delivery medical knowledge alone. Instead, they should try and encourage the mothers to be on the proper course of breastfeeding if the mothers are fit for it. Explain to the mother or the mother-to-be regarding the benefits she and her newborn bound to get if complete breastfeeding is closely followed. For example, explain to the mothers how first milk or colostrums can help in boosting their babies immunity compared to babies on infant formula. The mothers should also be informed about the fact that how her pounds can drop via breastfeeding ----- an economic and healthy way of slimming down after delivery. This can be a strong pulling factor as getting their ideal weight back has been the primary concern for most mothers nowadays. Last but not least, mothers should be told about how her breast milk contains the complete nutritional package a baby needs in the first 6 months of his or her life such that the necessity for exclusive breastfeeding can be rationalized. Most of the time, mothers complain that no milk is being produced or the babies simply are not suckling hard enough. Hence, we, as medical students well versed with the mechanism of milk ejection, should be able to tell where the problems lie and convey to them the correct technique of breastfeeding.

As such, the WABA YOUth Initiative has served as the international platform which gathers youths from different continents so that they can endeavour to introduce breastfeeding as a worldwide norm. Annual mega events can also be held with collaboration among regional medical schools and WABA so that future doctors, regardless of skin colour, can eventually move the world as a single, massive entity!

Medical students can also introduce the existence of breast pumps and nursing blanket to the mothers so that they are more facilitated during the nursing. Suggest ideas like how breast milks can be prepared earlier and refrigerated for babies’ daily consumption especially to those who have work demands. Medical students have a greater role to play these days. Convincing the mothers! Encouraging the mothers-to-be! Exposing the peers! There is a list of things we can do with our professional knowledge so that they can distinguish


between breast milk and infant formula and opt the former. We have to bear in mind that it takes one with in-depth awareness or personal experience of the goodness it brings about for breastfeeding to prevail, as in the case of Kak Titi.

All in all, this mesmerizing and beautiful gift of god can only be appreciated with collaborative effort from all who wish for a better tomorrow. So, let us get up today and start normalizing breastfeeding globally in order to make our world a better place for our successors!

Join up with The Electives Network! The Electives Network by Halina Malone

For more than a decade The Electives Network has helped tens of thousands of medical students plan their elective placements. TEN can help you find your dream elective anywhere from a remote clinic in the jungles of Papua New Guinea to a cutting-edge hospital amongst the sky scrapers of Manhatten. By signing up with TEN you can: - Access details of over 2,500 electives in over 150 countries. - Read 3,500 student reviews giving you the real low down on each elective. - Use TEN’s interactive planner to help you every step of the way. AMSA International has teamed up with The Electives Network to give AMSA International members extended access for the months of October and November. By signing up to TEN and selecting AMSA International as your medical school your membership will be doubled giving you even more time to plan your ultimate elective. Go to www.electives.net to take advantage of this offer.


ENEWS 3 articleS

Cho Ray Hospital – Vietnam The Electives Network by Rowan Harrison

Rowan Harrison, a medical student recently returned from an elective at the Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. He submitted his elective report to The Electives Network (www.electives.net) and talked about the ups and downs of his experience there. This elective is an interesting one although not without it’s limitations. As a final year male medical student I did a 4 week rotation in the Emergency Department in October/November 2011. Cho Ray is the biggest hospital in Vietnam and it’s ED sees a lot of traffic, especially trauma. Some of the trauma you see is at times, alarming. Certainly not good if you have a weak stomach. However, this was excellent as it meant there were a lot of opportunities for practical skills (i.e. suturing, intubation) and many opportunities which you wouldn’t get in Australia. The doctors are very friendly and all speak SOME English. This means you can know what’s going on roughly with a patient, but you can’t sit down and have a full on discussion about it. Paradoxically the busier it gets the less you can do as all the doctors are too busy to interpret for you. 95% of the patients don’t speak any English so if you are coming here to practice your history and examination skills you can forget about it. This was certainly a limitation. If you have a doctor interpret for you however, you will see some interesting pathology. A lot of patients present to the ED very late (if you don’t have money you don’t get treated so people usually wait until they are very sick to come in). In my time there I saw

some interesting cases like end stage Wilson’s disease, Steven Johnson Syndrome and a first presentation hepatic encephalopathy to name a few. At Cho Ray you are placed with an ED team (a group of doctors) who work on a 4 day schedule, namely Morning (7am to 2.30pm) then afternoon (2.30pm to 9pm), then night (9pm to 7am) then a day off (then the cycle repeats again). The training office recommends you work the mornings and afternoons and not the nights (I would recommend doing a couple of nights as that’s when the trauma comes in). This means you do two days on, two days off. This is open to negotiation and of course there are plenty of opportunities to travel. Vietnam is amazing to tour and because everything is so cheap (accommodation and food) you can happily do a rotation and holiday here at a budget cost. Another piece of advise to future placement goers is to be careful with the training department. Even though on their website they quoted 100US they overcharged me and took 200US. When I tried to get it back they just gave me another receipt and when I went back a second time they told me it was the ‘new fee’. However by coincidence there were other medical students in the ED when I was there who were with another team who started 2 weeks before me. They only paid 100US. This was suspicious so just be careful when paying your fee. Overall I found this an interesting elective. I would recommend it to others but perhaps only for 1 month as the language barrier can become a bit frustrating at times.


Vietnam is a wonderful country, good value and with plenty of opportunities to travel. To read more elective feedback articles like this go to:

www.electives.net. Select AMSA International as your medical school when you sign up and you will get your membership doubled to give you even more time to plan your ultimate elective.

Putting Patient’s Safety First AMSA Phillipines by Joanna Marie D. Choa

(Manila, Philippines) – The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched the inaugural Multiprofessional Patient Safety Curriculum Guide, starting in the Western Pacific Regional Office - Manila. This auspicious event was attended by leading professionals and deans of schools from the fields of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dentistry, and midwifery. AMSA-Philippines was privileged to be invited to the said event, attended by the current president Joanna Marie Choa and former AMSA-Philippines External Vice President Miguel Dorotan, who represented the voice of the medical students in the country. Held last 19 October 2011 at the world-class Marriott Hotel (Resorts World Complex) in Pasay City, this launching program-workshop was the initiative of WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WHO-WPRO), in cooperation with the Philippine Alliance for Patient Safety (PAPS) and the Philippine College of Surgeons. Distinguished guest speakers and health officials from different countries such as Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, China, and many others, also graced the event and shared their insights regarding the policies governing patient safety. Dr Hans Troedsson, Director of the Division of Programme Management WHO-WPRO, inspired the audience with a passionate welcome address. This was followed by messages from the Department of Health

and the Commissioner on Higher Education Prof Nona S. Ricafort. Sir Liam Donaldson, envoy for patient safety of WHO, also sent in a video clip message for this event, focusing on the aims of the formulated workshop and sharing his vision for the outcome of this event. Notable specialists in the field of patient safety and key persons involved in forumlating the curriculum who were in attendance at the event were Dr Agnes Leotsakos from the Patient Safety Programme WHO-HQ in Geneva, Prof Merrilyn Walton from New South Wales AUS, and Ms Stephane Newell representing the WHO Patients for Patient Safety. Ms Newall during her presentation discussed important points and issues regarding the incorporation of the said guide into each healthcare field’s curriculum starting at the earliest possible year of study. Aside from focusing on the benefits and advantages of having introduced the topic at a very early stage, the speakers emphasised how attendees could tackle the limitations, and the obstacles, and difficulties that might arise and how to handle these. Pledges from the participants were sought and acquired as each representative was requested to sign the proclamation supporting the curriculum. Closing the morning session with a concise summary was made by Dr Madeleine Valera of the WHO-WPRO Patient Safety Programme.


The afternoon session was dedicated to a focused group workshop and discussion on the opportunities and obstacles to implementing the multidisciplinary patient safety curriculum. Strategies on how to enhance opportunities and how to overcome the obstacles were also brainstormed by each group of professionals. Participants were divided into their own fields and subsequently presented their discussions to the assembly to gather opinions and comments from the experts. Interactive discussions and learning from the key promulgators of the curriculum was also done by each group. WHO Representative in the Philippines Dr Soe Nyunt-U gave the concluding message to the program and left the crowd with motivating messages to take home with. It was a truly enriching experience for all the professionals who convened at this very successful event and a very good opportunity to share ideas with colleagues from the

different healthcare professions that were in attendance.

Reflection on Joint Conference, Hong Kong 2011 AMSA Myanmar by Smallie, RC AMSA Myanmar

Attending my first International Conference in a number of years was a new experience in many ways. I believe that the AMSA International conferences provide us with confidence and experiences for future growth in our careers. I cannot describe in enough words how the conference was amazing. When I arrived, what surprised me most was how kind everyone was. At the airport, I was warmly welcomed by the OC of JC2011, who proceeded to introduce me to other delegates such as Bella, Hazel, Xiayan and William. We

were then all chaperoned to our hotel. The following day, we had an executive meeting somewhere in Hong Kong and I was provided with the opportunity to make friends with Aditya, Rizki, Rhe, Joe, Dome and many others from each of these unique individuals I was able to learn a lot. I felt myself fall in deep love with the atmosphere of friendship and vigour we built during this short time. The Organising Committees were very kind, friendly and hospitable, and had the warmest of hearts. They were really nice to everyone, irrespective of the color of your skin. They


treated everyone as equals. If you were lost and needed to ask for directions, they would provide the answers and escort you to where you needed to be because they truly wished to help. They were so very helpful and attended to all requests we had and did their very best to make me comfortable and happy. I was most impressed by my room-mate Xiayan, who was a wonderful companion and great to share some fun with.

interested in joining AMSA-Myanmar, and it is my hope that we will send more delegates to the next AMSA and EAMSC conferences. To sum up, I spent some of the best days of my life at JC 2011 and I feel so happy and proud to be have been a part of it, and meet all the friends I made there. This vivid experience and the energetic spirit it carried will remain in my memory and last forever - even if I have dementia in my old days!

At home in Myanmar, there are a lot of medical students

A Glance: Joint Conference Hong Kong 2011 AMSA Malaysia by Chim Sook Kuan

On the 25th of June 2011, 55 Malaysian delegates representing 7 medical universities in Malaysia participated in the Joint Conference, Hong Kong 2011, with the theme ‘Integrative Medicine: Evidence-based traditional, complementary and alternative medicine in modern medical practice’. This was the inaugural joint conference between the Asian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) and the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA). One the first day of the conference, an icebreaker games session allowed the delegates from the 25 chapters get to know each other. At the end of the day, there was a welcome dinner at a cool floating Chinese restaurant. On the second day, Prof Jin Ling Tang presented a keynote lecture with the title ‘Traditional Medicine In The Era of

Evidence-Based Medicine’.  Delegates were also given the


opportunity to participate in a UNMDG Session facilitated by the doctors. We managed to discuss a few cases regarding infectious disease, maternal health and infant health problems.

and participated in some heart felt discussion. The most exciting day, day 5 began with a keynote lecture with title of ‘Development of Integrative Medicine in Hong Kong and Around The World’ facilitated by Dr Vivian Wong. The video and paper presentations were then carried out. For these two competitions, Malaysia presented a video regarding the uses of Tongkat Ali, whilst for the paper presentation, 5 representatives from Malaysia made an amazing presentation on Labisia Pumila or “Kacip Fatimah’. On day 5, we also indulged ourselves in different foods from 25 countries during the international food and drink party. On day 6, delegates were given the opportunity to visit the Chinese Medical University of Hong Kong. This was an eye-opening experience where we able to see the process of acupuncture, cupping and learn the ways of processing chinese herbs.

The day then continued with the AMSA International booth, IFMSA project presentation and scientific poster presentation. During the AMSA International booth session, Malaysia proudly presented to delegates our unique culture of different races, including a demonstration of our games (eg. Gasing, Congkak and Wau). On the third and fourth day, the standing committee sessions took place. Delegates were divided into breakout ‘Standing Committee’ groups to cover issues such as Medical Education, Public Health, Research Exchange and Professional Exchange, Human Rights and Peace and Reproductive Health including AIDS. Delegates then visited The Avenue of Stars, Mong Kok District and The Victoria Peak for the sight seeing component of the conference. As part of the community service theme of ‘Falls prevention in Live Alone Elderly’, delegates visited some old-folks homes. Here delegates shared knowledge with community members regarding household dangers

On the final day of the conference, delegates were given a hands-on experience of Hong Kong’s local culture – through such activities as Lion Dancing, Chinese cuisine cooking, replicating Chinese decors from simple materials and practicing calligraphy and Kung Fu.


The conference ended with the Prize-Giving, Closing Ceremony and Cultural Night. I am proud to say that AMSA Malaysia won several prizes: Champion of Scientific Paper Competition, Champion of Public Poster (Regional Category) Competition and Champion of Scientific Poster (Open Category). Cultural night was a momentous night of fun and crosscultural sharing. Delegates dressed in cultural costumes and presented unique cultural performances. Thanks to all our Malaysian delegates for doing a great job in presenting an awesome performance!

Kaplan Partnership with AMSA International Kaplan Medical by Kaplan Medical

Kaplan Medical, the proven leader in USMLE preparation, is proud to announce a new partnership with AMSA International. As a result of this new partnership AMSA International members receive the following: • 10% discount on all Kaplan online and US based USMLE preparation courses • Access to free online events designed to help you navigate the process for attaining a US residency To take advantage of this offer please contact Rhema Wiguna at vicechairexternal@amsa-international.com or Jeff Weil at jeffrey.weil@kaplan.com. You can also learn more about Kaplan Medical you can visit our website at www.kaplanmedical.com.

Additionally you can click on the below links to access Kaplan’s USMLE course brochures: US Based USMLE Review Options: h t t p : / / w w w. f o r m s t a c k . c o m / f o r m s / ? 1 1 3 2 9 6 1 CnwFUkStqV Online USMLE Review Options: h t t p : / / w w w. f o r m s t a c k . c o m / f o r m s / ? 1 1 2 6 5 5 1 CnwFUkStqV AMSA International students are also invited to a free Live Online seminar in December, details below: Topic: Learn How Kaplan Can Help You Attain Hands On Clinical Experience in the US Date: December 14th Time: 12 (noon) GMT To Register: email jeffrey.weil@kaplan.com


Below is the first in a series of newsletter articles from Kaplan designed to educate you on the US medical system and the process for attaining a residency and licensure. Did you know? In order to obtain a license to practice medicine in the United States, physicians must complete a residency within the United States. Obtaining a residency in US is highly competitive. In the 2011 Match*: • A record 37,735 physicians and medical students applied for 23,421 first year residency positions. • Fewer than 41% of non-U.S. citizen applicants in the Match obtained a first-year residency position. • A record number of US medical graduates and U.S. citizen IMG’s applied for first-year residency positions. Securing a Residency Most hospitals select residency candidates from applicants who participate in the “Match.” This system of matching candidates to residency training positions allows you to interview and rank preferences, while simultaneously allowing the hospitals to rank those they have interviewed. The preference lists are merged by computer at the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP, www.nrmp. org). Results are announced annually in March. Generally, programs look for USMLE scores above 200. I the 2011 Match, Independent Applicants who successfully matched had a mean Step 1 score of 212.8 and a mean Step 2 CK score of 215.9. Programs also prefer U.S. hospital experience and letters of recommendation from physicians with whom you have worked. A personal statement outlining goals, reasons for entering the profession, and special interests is also required. Plan ahead to ensure that you are able to meet the various Match deadlines. Licensing Exams The United States Medical Licensing Examination

(USMLE®) consists of three steps with four exams designed to assess a physician’s ability to apply a broad spectrum of knowledge, concepts, and principles to evaluate the physician’s basic patient-centered skills. Pathway to Medical Licensure in the U.S. The following exams may be taken in any order: Step 1 4-9 months to prepare Step 2 CK 4-9 months to prepare Step 2 CS 1-2 months to prepare Requirements • Medical degree • Medical school transcript • Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS Residency Match • ECFMG® Certification Enroll in NRMP • Apply using ERAS • Interviewing at residency programs • Rank programs • If no match, “scramble” or reapply following year • Step 3 Taken during residency or during the Match application season. USA Residency Training • 3-8 years required depending on specialty chosen Overview of USMLE Exams: Step 1 – The Step 1 exam is multiple-choice exam designed to test how well the examinee applies basic, integral science


concepts to clinical scenarios. Minimum score to pass 188 Number of questions 322 multiple-choice questions on computer Duration 8 hours Exam Content Anatomy, Behavioral Science, Biochemistry, Medical Genetics, Microbiolog y/Immunolog y, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Physiology Step 2 CK - The Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) is a multiplechoice exam designed to determine whether the examinee possesses the medical knowledge and understanding of clinical science considered essential for the provision of patient care under supervision.

“hands-on” exam that tests the examinee’s clinical and communication skills through his/her ability to gather information from standardized patients, perform a physical examination, communicate the findings to the patient, and write a patient note. What it tests Clinical Skills/Doctor-Patient Communication Minimum score to pass No score —Pass/Fail (Must pass Integrated Clinical Encounters, Communication and Interpersonal Skills, and Spoken English Proficiency subcomponents). Number of questions 12 standardized patients (11 scored) Duration 7-8 hours

Minimum score to pass 189 Step 3 (multiple-choice exam) - This two-day exam assess Number of questions 346 multiple-choice the examinee’s ability to apply medical knowledge and the questions on computer understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential Duration 9 hours for the unsupervised practice of medicine, with emphasis Exam Content Internal Medicine, on patient management in ambulatory settings. Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Surgery, Ob/Gyn Step 2 CS-The Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) is a separate

* Source: NRMP.org

From Group Members to a Team — The AMSA Get Together! AMSA Pakistan by

There is no doubt that there’s more than hard work and

potential that accounts to an organization’s success.


Team spirit is valued today as the most important asset in an organization. For an organization like AMSA, whose members work miles apart, it is even more important for members to understand each others views and working habits. Thus on the 27th of August 2011, a get together Iftar was organized for the executive committee of AMSA Pakistan. The arrangements were made by Miss Maryam Tahir (Vice Regional Chairperson AMSA Pakistan), assisted by Miss Sameera Rashid at Xiwang Chinese Restaurant, M.M Alam Lahore.

Dr Naeem Majeed also joined the Iftar and gave solutions to the problems faced by AMSA members. Key problems were inadequate funds, the communication gap between members and difficulty in starting and carrying out research. Dr.Somia said “Pharmaceutical companies have no interest in student organizations so there’s no point going after them. It is important that we wisely utilize what we have and plan activities accordingly”. On the issue of Research, Dr.Naeem assured full support and guidance at every step.

The get together started with the recitation of the Holy Quran by Mansoor Ahmed Tarrar (Provincial Coordinator Sindh). This was followed by a brief introduction of all of the members of Executive Committee. Mr. Jawad Noon (Director of Publications & Promotions) rendered the service of the stage secretary. After the introduction, Miss Maryam Noor Malik (Regional Chairperson AMSA Pakistan) addressed the committee and highlighted the achievements of AMSA and gave details of the upcoming events. Miss Mariam Tahir (Vice Regional Chairperson) put forth the agenda of the get together and issues that were to be discussed. Members of the Advisory Board, Dr.Somia Iqtadar and After the Iftar, New College representatives took Oath and certificates were distributed to the old one’s and the Executive Committee. The get together was attended by fourteen Executive Committee members in total including Miss Tayyaba Khursheed who came all the way from Peshawar and Mr Mansoor from Hyderabad. The get together ended with an extensive debate on upcoming events and ways to improve our performance. But the best part was when the bill didn’t turn out to be what we expected and instead was smoothly solved by Mr. Ahmed Mustafa (Director Of Finance) thanks to his useful bargaining skills.


AMSA Pakistan at Healthcare and Medical Education Expo 2011 AMSA Pakistan by

Even though Health Expos have been previously organised in Pakistan, Health Expo 2011 was the first of its kind! The basic idea behind it was to bring health care institutions closer to the general public by making it a family event instead of an event “just for doctors”. Situated in the serene neighborhood of Johar town, the Expo Center Lahore hosted 6 conferences and 200 stalls along with health care related plays and a cultural event. Once the marketing of the Health Expo had started, Miss Maryam Noor Malik (Regional Chairperson AMSA Pakistan) was assigned the task of getting a stall for AMSA Pakistan at the Health Expo to the General Secretary Miss Sameera Rashid, as all Medical students and graduates were going to visit the Expo - this made it a brilliant opportunity for AMSA to extend its circle. But this was not going to be an easy task - we were out of funds and most of the AMSA members were busy with exam periods. Nonetheless, what seemed impossible at one point, was made possible by enthusiastic AMSA team who travelled miles to make this happen. Approximately 2000 people visited the Expo. Eighteen AMSA members attended and took part in many voluntary activities. The Executive Committee of AMSA Pakistan was present at the Expo to guide medical students and share information about AMSA Pakistan and its activities. Members of the Board of Advisors Dr.Somia Iqtadar and Dr.Naeem Majeed also visited the stall and encouraged the AMSA team. An informative lecture on “Dengue Fever” was given by Dr.Somia Iqtadar (the Chief Minister’s Medical Representative on the Dengue Convention) which was attended by around twenty five people.

Discounted membership was offered on the spot to medical students along with AMSA Pakistan membership cards. The Expo provided AMSA Pakistan with a chance to spread the cause of AMSA and thus around ten students became part of the AMSA family on the spot, many others took forms to get registered later. Many head of institutions including many prominent medical figures visited the stall and asked the AMSA team to visit their collages and involve their students in AMSA’s projects. A significant number even donated to the AMSA fund. In short, through the Health Expo the AMSA Pakistan team was able to exhibit its work in front of the medical community of Pakistan and gain the confidence of medical institutes.


AMSA International Quarterly Magazine 1  

AMSA International's Quarterly Magazine

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