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Candidate for Public Health Director



Dear EMSA members It is a truly remarkable time to be a medical student. The 21st century offers countless challenges and opportunities to all who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of their communities and aren’t afraid to work hard to achieve this highest of goals. Of all the medical fields, I find public health to be unique in the challenge it presents - understanding and evaluating all aspects of society through the prism of health - and the promise it brings - touching millions of lives at a time. My past year at EMSA has been a remarkable journey of discovery that allowed me to be exposed to inspiring leaders in public health from all over the world. Whether they were fellow students or seasoned experts and professors, they spoke with the same intensity that allowed the rest of us a glimpse into the fire burning in their belly - their yearning to improve the health of their charges. It also presented the unique challenge of taking this incredibly wide and complex field and create a meaningful pillar that offered you, dear EMSAi, an opportunity to get involved as well. I welcome you to read all about it in my annual report. I feel that if you award me the chance to continue my path, there is so much more I can offer to you and to EMSA as a whole. Based on my years of working as a student representative, higher education policy advocate and project manager, I am resolute in my belief to be able to deliver a thriving Public health pillar that will reflect the excitment of the field itself and welcome all of you to contribute and to learn. I truly wish that we embark on this journey together.

Public health is an

most passionate students

Sincerely yours, Rok Hrzic

Candidate for Public Health Director | 3

A vision for the pillar EMSA’s Public health pillar needs to focus on building our members’ triple capacity: the capacity to understand, the capacity to appreciate and the capacity to get involved in the issues of public, international and global health. Overview

Public health, especially in its most ambitious iteration called Global health, is on the rise. Despite the global financial crisis, investment (mostly private) into those areas has been peaking. If we subscribe to the principle of an idea market and voting with our money, then public health is one of the most valuable fields of human endeavour overall. It is also a field of medicine that is the most linked to other disciplines of science and humanities, yet sadly often one that is the most poorly integrated in traditional biomedicine based curricula all over Europe. This creates a gap of knowledge and appreciation that might turn away many of us, medical students, despite our clearly demonstrated cabapility and I dare say duty of making a sizeable impact in public and global health. These realities need to inform us when envisioning a future for EMSA’s Public health pillar. Before we can actively engage with the issues of health inequities, migration, and development, for instance, we need to bridge the gaping chasm of our ignorance in these topics. Thus I see the very near perspective of the pillar focusing particularly on building the triple capacity of our members - the capacity to understand public

health issues, the capacity to appreciate their importance to the roles of medical students and medical professionals and the capacity of actively engaging with the problems identified. As the field itself, so should the pillar seek connections outside

its immediate perview to accomplish these goals, by connecting with the expertise within EMSA (it’s other pillars), as well as other student and professional organizations within and outside the field of medicine. The outline that I present in this document should serve to convey my vision for the pillar and a few of its most salient points. A specific plan of action that includes SMART goals will be prepared, as was the previous year, after the general


assembly, so that it may include the input of the rest of the board and the external partners, as well as takes into account any other decisions the delegates might task the EMSA board with.

Support structures of the pillar

Since the pillar is entering only into its fourth year of existance, there is still a lot of structuring to be done. Despite this being a mundane topic for some, we cannot afford to overlook it! The European support division team needs to be strengthened, mentors sought out,

and the public relations side of the pillar expanded. Despite spending a significant portion of my time in the last year on setting up these resources, there is still a way to go. The pillar finally has a small yet enthusiastic team in its European support division, which I will work to expand to include more members with different interests and capacities - from social media management to policy making and project management. A crucial part of building up the capacity of the ESD and all EMSAi to actively engage with the issues is finding connections with mentors from the field of public health. I envision working with them in terms of seeking input in existing and future initatives, as well as important avenues for finding new opportunities for our organization. Since the last year awarded me with some connections, I see this as the logical next step, with the support of the future VPE of EMSA. I would like to expand the existing social media structure to provide more frequent and better resources and researched content to the medical students of Europe - more scientific papers, EU and international policy documents and activity reports, all crucial for building more interest and passion for public health among EMSAi.

Public health pillar projects

I see two main types of projects that we can engage in in our pillar. The first, which could be called “Day” projects, deal with creating public campagins in order to bring an issue like hypertension or diabetes to the forefront of our public’s attention. Their objective is to improve the understanding of the particular issue and to encourage positive steps being made to mitigate their negative impacts on society. In a narrower focus, they can be used to spread the name of EMSA far and wide and fullfil our obligation to society as an association of future medical professionals. The second, which can be called “year

long projects” or YLPs, are aimed at a narrower public - towards engaged EMSA members, who wish to deeply interact with an issue and spend a significant amount of time on it - perhaps launching a future career under the supervision of one of the pillar’s mentors. Following the last year’s successes in the first types of projects and the introduction of a new project called “Little sanitarians”, I plan to expand the pillar’s focus into other areas of public health, such as breast cancer prevention, with the introduction of new projects. But most of all, I will seek to expand EMSAs work and reach in the field of advocacy on public health problems. I see that EMSAs potential in this area has not yet been fully developed (for various and


complex reasons), but with the strides forward made in the area this year by a

great Policy making officer, I feel confident that we can make a more sizeable impact on the european institutions. We have a truly unique opportunity with many of our alumni and partner organizations, that are deeply engaged in advocating, to capitalize on this network and make a difference. But if the opportunity is not seized, it may disappear for ever (and EMSA with it).

External partners

EMSA has a number of EU-centric external partners in the field of public health, which can provide expertise, visibility and most importantly - a platform for our students to engage in the issues

they represent. These range from student organizations, like the APYN - Alcohol Policy Youth Network, to large umbrella organizations EPHA - European Public

externals Health Alliance. The past year was also about building a lasting network of connections that we can build upon this year and turn the good will into Europe wide projects, initatives, advocacy campaigns, mentorships and internships for our members. By trully engaging our partners, EMSA can really express its potential and by 2015 achieve the goal I have set in this year’s strategic plan: to “Position EMSA to be the strongest medical students’ representative organization in the field of Public Health in the European region and toward the institutions of the European union and the Council of Europe by 2015.”

Candidate for Public Health Director | 5

Here you can see some of the main planned actions, enumerated, so that you can imagine the ambition and scope of the vision and hold me account able for the mandates success or failure.

5 PH policy statements 10+ ESD members

Curriculum Vitae

Rok Hržič

Personal information Address Telephone(s) E-mail(s) Nationality Date of birth Occupation

Pri jezu 12, SI-2000 Maribor (Slovenia) +386 40240873 Slovene 4th January 1990 Medical student (6th year)

Education Graduation Title of qualification awarded Institution

May 2008 IBO Diploma II. gimnazija Maribor

Graduation Title of qualification awarded Institution

September 2015 (exp.) Medical Doctor (MD) Medical faculty of University of Maribor

Work experience Dates Occupation or position held Main activities and responsibilities Organization Dates Occupation or position held Main activities and responsibilities Organization Dates Occupation or position held Main activities and responsibilities Organization Dates Occupation or position held Main activities and responsibilities Organization

August 2013 - present Vice-rector for Student Affairs elect (mandate begins October) Lead representative of 20,000 university students, responsible for a 200,000 EUR budget, 17 faculty student councils and an active collaborator in the higher education policy making bodies of the Republic of Slovenia. University of Maribor September 2012 - present Public Health Director Managing, initiating and overseeing projects and activities in the field of Public health for the largest medical students association in Europe. European Medical Students Association September 2011 - August 2013 Program coordinator Managing three commissions and more than 40 student representatives, employees and volunteers working on about 15 recurring or ad hoc projects; preparing an annual action plan; efficacy and transparency oversight; preparing public statements and position papers. Student council of the University of Maribor September 2011 - August 2013 Student tutor coordinator Managing a team of 42 student tutors and three peer tutor leaders, peer teacher training, preparing an annual action plan, quality control and oversight, fundraising, medical education research. Medical Faculty of University of Maribor

Representative positions Dates Occupation or position held Main activities and responsibilities Organization Term Occupation or position held Main activities and responsibilities Organization Dates Occupation or position held Main activities and responsibilities Organization Page 1 / 2 - Curriculum vitae of Rok Hržič

September 2011 - present Member of the Senate Students’ rights advocacy, higher education policy advocacy University of Maribor August 2012 - August 2013 Member of the Board of Directors Financial management of the university (about 16.000 students and 1.800 employees) with an emphasis on financial crisis management University of Maribor September 2011 - September 2012 Member of the Commission on Academic affairs Oversight of 79 separate curricula offered on 16 faculties, quality and change management University of Maribor

Internships and summer schools Dates Organization Activity Dates Organization Activity Dates Organization Activity

12th to 23rd August 2013 Copenhagen School of Global Health, University of Copenhagen Global Health Summer School September 2012 University Clinical Center Maribor Extracurricular internship in anesthesiology and internsive care July 2012 Tunis Medical faculty IFMSA internship in interventional radiology

Personal skills and competences Mother tongue(s)


Other language(s) Self-assessment English





Proficient user


Proficient user


Proficient user

2008 IBO Bilingual Diploma



Proficient user


Proficient user


Proficient user

2008 DSD



Independent user


Independent user


Independent user


Basic User


Basic User


Basic User


Common European Framework of Reference (CEF) level Technical skills and competences

Research methodology (including statistical analysis)

Awards and scholarships Date Award Organization Date Scholarship Organization

2011 and 2012 Marcus Gerbezius commendation for extraordinary academic achievement (ranked 1st in class) Medical faculty of University of Maribor 2004 - present Zois scholarship for distinctly talented pupils and students Republic of Slovenia

Meetings and conferences Date Activity Date Activity Date Activity Date Activity Date Activity Date Activity

Page 2 / 2 - Curriculum vitae of Rok Hržič

8h to 14th November 2012 1st European Alcohol Policy Youth Conference, Bled, Slovenia 19th to 24th October 2012 Pre World Health Summit workshop “Rethinking Global Health” and World Health Summit 2012, Berlin, Germany 23rd and 24th March 2012 Poster presentation: “Peer Tutor OSCE – 2nd year perspective”, Skillslab-Symposium, Marburg, Germany 27th to 31st August 2011 Poster presentation: “Introducing pre-ward medical students' competencies and OSCE to Slovenia undergraduate education”, AMEE conference, Vienna, Austria 20th June 2011 Workshop: “Quality and Economics of Peer Teaching and OSCE”, AMSE conference, Maribor, Slovenia 8th and 9th April 2011 Oral presentation: “Student versus Peer Tutor OSCE Performance”, Skillslab-Symposium, Wurzburg, Germany

Pri jezu 12 Maribor SI-2000 Slovenia

Rok hrzic emsa phd candidature