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Annual Report 2009 -2010


Contents President - Francesca Theuma 3 Secretary General - Simon Aquilina 4 Financial Officer - Jacob Vella 6 National Officer on Public Health - James Gauci 8 National Officer on Medical Education 10 National Officer on Reproductive Health 11 National Officer on Human Rights and Peace 13 NEO/NORE-incomings 14 NEO/NORE-outgoings 15 National Peer Education and Training Programme 16 MMSA’s Standing Committees 17 MMSA Executive Board 2009-2010 18 European Regional Meeting 2010 - A Photo Story 19

Credits Design and Layout - Stefan Buttigieg Photography - Samuel Debono, Emre Tokuc and others Editor - Samuel Debono Printed in Malta , 2011 Copyright - Malta Medical Students’ Association This is an MMSA Media Publication

mmsamedia mmsa.org.mt

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President

Francesca Theuma MMSA has always been at the forefront of student involvement within the community, both at a national level and on the broader international level. We aim to achieve this with various events organised throughout the year, aimed at making medical students’ lives at university more memorable and improving public health awareness.

members this year, which provides a small subsidy for international events and local workshops which help our members develop and improve their skills and capacities.

MMSA was also very active within the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association, with enthusiastic delegations representing the orThis year was no different - we started off with a great ganisation at the General Assemblies in MacedoFresher’s Session and revamped Training Resource and nia and Thailand. These conferences also proviDevelopment Seminar, to introduce the first year stu- ded an invaluable platform for our members to dents to our very busy organisation and its members. exchange ideas with peers from all over the world. The standing committees also provided us with successful activities which allowed our members to con- One of the most ambitious and successful projects this vey to the public various aspects of healthcare. This year was hosting the IFMSA European Regional Meeting year saw the introduction of a number of new initiatives in April at San Antonio Hotel, Bugibba. This conference including: Anti-Drugs Campaign, World Heart Day and brought together 250 medical students from several Anti-Obesity Campaign. It also saw the improvement European countries, with the theme ‘Health Force Miof old activities, especially Peer Education with a Training gration’. Prestigious attendees included the president of New Trainers Workshop and Peer Education Weekend. the World Medical Association, Dr Dana W. Hanson. This year MMSA also collaborated with the Malta MMSA also launched its new corporate identity this Hospice Movement to help raise funds and awareyear, thanks to the invaluable work of its marketing ness about its work during our yearly ‘HealthFest’. team. We now have a new, modern logo and corporate structure, to help us convey a more lasting im- Every year sees MMSA growing and developing - and pression on the public. We also aimed at improving our this term was no exception. I would like to send contacts with the local media by publishing informative a heartfelt thanks to our members and the exearticles in local magazines, newspapers and websites. cutive board for all their hard work and support. MMSA re-introduced the Travel Assistance Fund to its

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Secretary General Simon Aquilina

Training and Rescouces Development Weekend

• Standing Committee Sessions • General Talks by the head of the Anatomy DeThis activity is an official introduction to all the partment or A Consultant Geriatrician first years joining the Medical Student’s Associa- • Training Sessions (to choose 3 from the following tion. It is also a great opportunity for older years to trainers: Malta Emergency Nurses Association, Malta seek more information about other Standing Com- Physiotherapists Association, Marketing (Nick Mamo mittees and get more involved in the activities the and Ben Chetcuti, SexEd (Gabrielle Scicluna), SCOPH association organises during the scholastic year. Clinical Skills (James Gauci). The Opening Ceremony consisted of a short play on the history of Medicine (directed and acted by medical students), a short talk by Prof. Josanne Vassallo (Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist) and a short video titled ‘Life of a Medical Student’, followed by a welcome drink. Both the play and the video had a humoristic touch.

The social programme during the evening, which was heavily attended by both delegates and other university students consisted of two themed costume parties held at Fuego, Qawra: ‘Humans not allowed’ and ‘Heaven and Hell’

The Closing Ceremony included a short talk by the MMSA president, Francesca Theuma, and This year TRD was held at Dolmen Resort Hotel, a 5 minute video presentation of photos taa four star hotel in Qawra, facing St. Paul’s Islan- ken during the weekend including the parties. ds. A total of 180 students ranging from first years to fifth years attended this year. Each Delegate was MMSA Annual General Meeting 2010 given a welcome pack consisting of a bag containing file paper, a pen, leaflets and MMSA related me- The Malta Medical Students Association Annual Gedia, stickers and a programme for the weekend. Eve- neral Meeting is a yearly appointment that the assory delegate was given a Certificate of Participation ciation keeps with all its members in order to empoand exchange points if he/she attended the sessions. wer them by giving the opportunity to directly have their say on the association’s management. It was held The following sessions were organised and were open on the 25th March 2010 at the Mater Dei Hospital Medical School Auditorium from 15.00 hrs onwards. to all delegates:

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The Agenda is fixed as indicated on our bylaws, and includes presentations by the current Executive board and Ex-Ufficio members on the work done to date, amendments to the MMSA’s Statute and Bylaws and presentations of candidates for positions in the Executive board 2010 -2011. As usual, it took about 5 hours and afterwards, followed by refreshments in the lobby. Sascha Reiff and Claire Cassar were elected chairman and secretary for the AGM as the first item on the agenda. The proposed changes made to the statute and Bylaws during the AGM, are suggested after members form the Executive board carefully go

through them and come up with improvements in order to adapt the working guidelines to the changing needs and conditions the association is faced with. During the 2010 AGM, there were only two contested posts – Secretary General and National Public Health Officer. All other posts were uncontested, however each contestant had five minutes to present themselves, followed by 3 minutes of questioning by the students present. During presentations of contested posts, the opposing candidate was asked to leave the room.

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Financial Officer Jacob Vella

The term started with a net total of € 8921.69 and ended with a total, including reliable debtors, € 39791.18 – a 289.10% increase. Such increase in income is mainly attributed to the decision of taking all students’ accommodation responsibility. Such decision gave its yield and this money can cover expenses run by the medical students and events run by MMSA which are aimed at the overall community. Such profits are also to change the financial frame of mind so as to be more generous when investing in MMSA members.

from a restaurant close to University of Malta f.pickup persons for exchange students were given EUR 10 instead of EUR 5 2) More modern and contemporary way of effecting payment - most transactions were made electronically rather than via cheque. This increased transparency and decreased the use of papers. 3.) Improvements on the electives programme by:

During my term I also worked to make the following a. changing the pickup system to a cheaper and propossible: student alternative i.Taxi drivers used to charge us EUR 17 for each trip A more social Treasury - closer to the members by: ii.the new system spent EUR 10 in the morning and EUR 15 at night and this money went a. Issuing a grants and opportunities list which can be found to the MMSA members who did the pickups in the member’s area of the MMSA website. The list pro- iii.meant that foreign students immediately met a felmoted more MMSA subsidies and also University, natio- low medical student upon arrival in Malta – the Malnal and regional funds and benefits available for students tese student is then be able to brief them on the b. Communicating with the Ministry of Education, Em- hospital, the Maltese system and local youth life ployment and the Family in order to get more SMART card refundable events (MEDIK-T, NPET, TNT, First Aids b. stopped bookings at University ResidenCourses and TRD were all SMART card refundable) ce and instead moved to large apartments c. increasing student subsidy rates according to the i.cheaper alternative – University Residence charremaining budget and the present financial situation ged us EUR 12 per day while the fee was EUR 17 per d. faster settlement of refunds via e-banking day in summer and EUR 12 during all other months e. a 10% discount for all medical students ii.more spacious – apartments held 6 students ma-

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ximum and not with bunk beds as the Residence iii. better location – the new apartments are in Sliema and have a sea view iv. wireless internet – MMSA flats have free internet offered to students while the Residence did not c.edited and constantly updated the Electives webpage and application

c. Applied for a UN funding scheme and a YIA EU scheme d. Applied and got a VO number for MMSA e. Established contacts with MEUSAC and EUPA 5.) Space and property exploitation

a. Treasury revisited the KSU room which is allocated to MMSA since it was not being used during the d. increased the non-summer fee to EUR 12 due to an preceding years. increase in the water and electricity consumption rates b. such property exploitation eventually made the garage idea redundant since having such a room meant e.offered a social programme to elective students co- having sufficient space for our inventory ming in Malta c. money for the garage can be then spent better on MMSA members f. printed, together with the Electives Coordinatorelect, leaflets to advertise the programme in foreign 6.) Better money and expense management universities a. Emphasised on getting multiple quotes for each g. took accommodation in the sole hands of MMSA and every expense in MMSA i now that student accommodation was not costing b. Compiled a list of printers and companies so EUR 12 per day per student, profits increased specta- that any member responsible for any printing can have cularly a ready-made contact list including the most promiii. MMSA still got the 30% share of the other fees – ap- nent printing companies plication and administrative fee c. Emphasised on bulk buying – best example is the merchandise that was bought h. Started a professional invoicing system for inco- d. Emphasised on including the foreign market ming electives students when hunting for the best quality and value for money – again, the purchase of merchandise and of the tent i. Opened a new account for electives transac- are proof of this tions so as to make it easier to monitor the performan- e. Encouraged soft copy issuing of information and ce of the programme news when a hard copy does not prove itself more effective than a soft one 4.)Enhanced the funding capabilities of MMSA I end this report by thanking my predecessor Karl Cutajar without whom all this work couldn’t have been a. Came up with a funding template which can be done properly. used and modified to be appropriate for most type of funding schemes b. Successfully got EUR 2215 funding from the European Commission

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Teddy Bear Hospital

National Public Health Officer James Gauci

The Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) allows medical students to leave our mark on health issues which affect the Maltese public, through the organisation of several awareness campaigns. Participating in such activities enables us to develop our communication skills as future doctors, by targeting just about every generation of society, starting from young kindergarten children to the elderly. World Heart Day, held on the 27th September in Sliema was a half-day activity with the aim of educating the public about the risk factors for heart disease. The public was invited to have their blood pressure and Body Mass Index (BMI) measured. In the outreach, students spoke to passers-by about the risk factors of cardiovascular disease. The public was also invited to take our free leaflets and to taste our freshly-made fruit salad. Around 40 MMSA members helped out, while over 300 people were targeted. World Diabetes Day, held on the 7th November, was a half-day activity, in commemoration of World Diabetes Day (14th November). The aim was to educate the public on diabetes, its prevention and ways to deal with it. The activity involved outreaches to passers-by about diabetes, as well as random blood glucose, blood pressure and Body Mass Index (BMI) testing. Leaflets on Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, as well

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as booklets on nutrition in both Maltese and English were freely distributed. Water, apples and sugar free biscuits were available for all the public who came to the stand. The event was promoted on three popular local TV stations, and also covered by four leading newspapers. Around 90 MMSA members helped out at this event while around 800 people attended. The Christmas Presents Campaign involved visiting children on the paediatric wards at Mater Dei Hospital, singing Christmas carols and presenting them with small presents. A Christmas Lottery was organised beforehand to collect money to buy the presents – Cleland and Souchet were the sponsors for the lottery. On the day, ‘Father Christmas’ and the other SCOPH members toured the wards distributing around 50 presents. The activity was organised in conjunction with the Malta Association of Dental Students (MADS). The Obesity Campaign involves visiting primary schools, targeting children aged between 6 and 10 years. The aim is encourage the adoption of healthy eating habits and sports into their lifestyle. Two campaigns were held this year, targeting a total of over 200 students. The campaign not only involved activities aimed to teach children about health food, but also a short sports event which aimed to encourage the children to adopt sports into their free time.


as a source of information was given in the form of The Blood Donation Campaign involves the organi- a bookmark. Around 300 students were targeted. sation of blood drives on the University campus. Organ and blood donation are promote, and also the The Substance Abuse Campaign was started this year values surrounding these noble acts. Two campaigns with aim of giving information to teenagers aged 13were organised this year, in conjunction with the Mo- 15 about substance abuse and where to go for help viment Studenti Kristjani Universitarji (MKSU). A to- during non-formal education sessions in secondatal of 225 people donated blood, while over 20 or- ry schools. Leaflets were distributed at the sesgan donation forms were filled in the two campaigns. sions, containing information on the most common types of drugs as well as tips on how to recognize The Teddy Bear Hospital Campaign involves visiting kin- these different drugs; detecting if someone is using dergarten and primary schools to target children aged drugs; and where to go for help. The campaign was between 3 and 5 years. The aim is to reduce white-coat acknowledged as part of the European Action on fever in children. SCOPH members play with the children Drugs (EAD). Around 400 teenagers were targeted. and let them ‘cure’ their own toys using doctor toy sets. Four Teddy Bear Hospitals were held during this term, The First Aid Campaign involved a series of sessions targeting a total of 550 children. ‘Teddy bear hospital’ of First Aid, to those first year medical students inbooklets, containing several tips on common childho- terested. A Red Cross certificate was given at the end. od diseases were distributed to the children’s parents. The E-Posters Campaign involved the creation of e-poThe AntiTobacco Campaign involves a number of talks at sters to raise awareness about health-related topics, secondary schools and sixth forms to raise awareness especially in individuals without a medical background. on the damaging effects of tobacco. The aim is to en- It aims to reach as many people as possible by sencourage students in this age group to avoid the habit of ding these posters via emails to contacts. Four e-posmoking and also to help those who have already star- sters were created this year: ‘Antibiotics’, ‘Low Back ted smoking to stop by showing them what help is avai- Pain’, ‘Sleep and Sleep Deprivation’ and ‘Sexual Health’. lable. A presentation and video clips, including the ‘Antismoking Campaign at University’ video made by MMSA, The Reach on the Beach Campaign involved visiwere shown. At the end, students were given a link to ting beaches and organising outreaches on Melaour website as a source of information in the form of noma, Sun Protection and Sexual Health, to the a bookmark. This campaign targeted over 120 students. general public. Our first event was held last summer, and we have also attracted the attention of The Eating Disorders Campaign involves a number of the Malta Tourism Authority, with whom we will talks at secondary schools and sixth forms to raise be collaborating for future activities next summer. awareness about eating disorders. While Eating Disorders Week was organised on University campus, The large number of public campaigns this stanthus also targeting university students who may be ding committee managed to complete dusuffering from, or know others who are suffering ring this term continues to pledge that public from eating disorders. Posters were hung up giving in- health is at the core of MMSA’s principles. formation and offering help, a link to our website

World Diabetes Day

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National Officer on Medical Education Raphael Buttigieg

Handover period from the NOME of 2008/2009 took place between the elections in March 2009 and the start of term July 1st 2010, although the NOME-elect had worked very closely with the previous NOME and thus handover was for the most part a discussion of a plan of action and transfer of materials.

ly considered in depth at a clinical level, and also attract fresh people to work in SCOME. This was the first time to be organised in Malta, based on the activity organised in the Netherlands and Romania.

An Ideas Cafe’ was organised for the first time by the SCOME team in December, to try and collect In April, a strategic plan of action for the as yet weak as much feedback as possible about the first yestanding committee was drafted up, discussed with a ar’s curriculum. The feedback was compiled in a few members of the standing committee and finalised. report which was then presented to the faculty. July saw the planning with the rest of Executive board as well as the first meeting for the standing commit- In February, Medical Education International Kit Training tee, while tasks were delegated and plans adjusted. Two (MEDIK-T) was organised, the first project of its kind in members also attended a Bologna Process Workshop in Malta, and also the very first done on a national level Cordoba, Spain of which the result was a policy paper – within IFMSA (with 2 having been organised before on Bologna process in Medicine: Beyond 2010. In September an international level). There were 13 participants, who the NOME attended the AMEE conference (Association were trained in the essentials of medical education, for Medical Education in Europe). Fresher’s session was and prepared to work on a higher level in future years. coordinated for the first time in a while with members from the faculty on the preparations for the introduc- Attendance of the IFMSA 59th General Assembly tory course for the first year students. The SCOME in Bangkok, Thailand in March, included participafresher’s session was prepared including a meeting for tion of all SCOME sessions as well as the organisa‘buddies’ (senior medical students to pair up with first tion of a training workshop (3rd MEDIK-T) organised years and show them around) in preparation of the event. jointly by the MMSA NOME and the SCOME director for IFMSA during the pre-GA. Training was also During the Training & Resource Development weekend given during the GA to other SCOME members. in October, the SCOME Session was given, followed by a meeting 2 weeks later thus re-enforcing the place Career’s convention was organised in April, where docof SCOME in the minds of the new medical students. tors from different fields were invited to speak to medical students about various options available after finiAches and Pains was held in November, an activi- shing the undergraduate course. The term was rounded ty designed to be both educational – discussing va- up in June by giving a handover to the successive NOME. rious common aches and pains which are not usual-

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World Aids Day - Candle Vigil

National Officer on Reproductive Health Gabrielle Scicluna

Handover period from the NORA of 2008/2009 took place between the elections in March 2009 and the start of term July 1st 2010. The term was than planned with the Executive Board, ensuring that the aims of our organisation were synchronous, in order to establish guidelines for our mode of operation and to create the essential team spirit.

gnancies and sexually transmitted infections in Malta. This was followed up by an informative talk given on invitation to a local girls’ secondary school students regarding breast cancer awareness and prevention.

The first week of December is the pinnacle of SCORA in which a whole week of activities is done due to World Aids Day (1st December). Preparation and planning for Reach on the Beach was launched in August together this week had started way back in September and all with the Standing Committee on Public Health. During through November to contact sponsors, book venues the activity, young sunbathers were addressed by the and create posters and flyers. The activities included SCORA team about sexual health, and by the SCO- Piazza Cafe on Campus, Candle Vigil in Valletta, three PH team about skin cancer awareness. The IFMSA 58th public outreaches in local post-secondary education General Assembly in Ohrid, Macedonia was attended institutions and WAD Campus, an acoustic night at KSU including the pre-GA meeting during which the NORA Common Room. All were aimed towards increasing the was given International Peer Education Training (IPET). awareness and education on HIV/AIDS and sexual health. September 2009: preparation and planning of the On the occasion of Valentine’s Day in Februaactivities of the following month, as well as plan- ry, SCORA prepared a flyer on sexual health ning of World AIDS Day (WAD) week activities in which was distributed by social networking means. December. This included contacting of sponsors, booking venues and creating posters and flyers. Three Peer Education programs in collaboration The Fresher’s Session in Training & Resource Devewith the National Peer lopment weekend in October was a great opportuEducation and Training nity in which new enthusiastic individuals were reCo-ordinator were held cruited to the SCORA team. Later in the month the during this term, in a seNational Peer Education Training Weekend took place, condary school in Novemduring which new volunteers were given structured ber and in two different training in IFMSA methodologies to carry out Peer youth centres in February. Education programmes in schools. SCORA also represented MMSA in a debate program on One Television Attendance of the station regarding the issue of increasing teenage preIFMSA 59th General

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Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand, in March, included participation in all SCORA sessions and delivery of one session entitled Transexuality. Sessions regarding the First Gynaecological Consultation were given to a local girls’ secondary school on the occasion of International Women’s Day in March. With MMSA hosting the IFMSA EuRegMe VII in April, the SCORA team presented a session to participants regarding maternal health with direct relevance to Millennium Development Goal 5 (Improve Maternal Health). An outreach regarding sexual health and reproductive health was held in Valletta during the MMSA Healthfest.

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The last project of the year was in April with the fourth edition of The Genital Affair which was held on University Campus - this included an intimate theatrical evening with the aims of educating the audience while breaking the taboos surrounding sex and sexuality.


Human Rights Week - Discussion

National Officer on Human Rights and Peace Chiara Vella

The Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace has had several problems with man-power and participation from students. The reason seems to be that some of the work that the committee does, doesn’t seem to have ‘anything’ to do with medicine. For the English lessons with Immigrants, Marina Sciberras was the coordinator; three time periods were set for the year: June-July, September-October and November-December. The sessions were well organised and there was a lot of coordination between MMSA and Malta Red Cross representative Glen Cachia, with whom MMSA members usually attend the sessions. However lack of student participation, as in previous years, resulted in MMSA having to resign from the last few sessions of English lessons. One reason which was highlighted was that Hal-Far isn’t very central, especially for those who do not drive. Some possibilities or suggestions which were passed on to the new national officer were: the possibility of opening this opportunity up to other University non-medical students; teaming up with other similar humanitarian organisations to increase the number of participants like MKSU, GetUp StandUp!, and JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service). It must be said however that like in previous years, MMSA’s input was much appreciated, both by Malta Red Cross and by the immigrants themselves. PeaceTest which formed part of the National Peer Education Training programme under the coordination of Winston Bartolo and the NPET coordinator, Nick Mamo. A few successful and promising sessions were held at St. Aloysius’ College sixth form and some at St. Agatha’s secondary school for boys Three Ethics Discussions were held this year (October, November and March). Coordinated by Sandra Zammit and Giulia Attard Navarro, all sessions were well attended and quiet interactive. Feedback showed that students found them very helpful and beneficial for their future careers. The main concern regarding ethics discussion in the future is whether students will still feel the need to attend, due to ethics having been added in the MD curriculum from the preclinical years. However these sessions may still be promoted as they consist

mostly of small-group and intimate discussions – something which might be more difficult to achieve in lecture setting. At the Family open centre in Hal-Far, SCORP held a Christmas party for immigrants. Around 15 medical students, under the coordination of Marina Sciberras, passed around food and drinks as well as Christmas cheer! The event was funded by a doughnut and cake sale led by Matthew Attard, held at the University quadrangle in early December. Although an outreach on basic hospital inpatient rights had been planned on the same day as the sale, this was cancelled due to heavy rainfall. The family open centre turned out to be a good alternative to the detention centre as a venue for the Christmas Party due to some antagonism from the latter in previous years. A new initiative during this term which was very successful and well-attended event & much appreciated by the residents in the Bormla Elderly Home where we spent the day. A few games were organised and participants spent a while speaking to and listening to patients. This was originally proposed because till now MMSA has no activities which are specifically for the elderly, and this may be very beneficial as students become used to talking to and relating to older people – something which they will have to encounter every day in their future careers. During Healthfest in April, an outreach consisting of two types of leaflets (Basic Patient Rights and Mental Health Awareness) being distributed to people in Valletta together with a small discussion with some on the two subjects. The Mental Health Awareness campaign seemed to go down better with the Maltese public who showed appreciation for the initiative and seemed interested in the information being distributed. Foreign participants at EuRegMe were also encouraged to join. This marked the end of a relatively successful year for SCORP

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NEO/NORE-incomings

National Exchange Officer and National Officer on Research Exchange

Jonathan Gauci During the Exchange Season 2009-2010, MMSA hosted 71 exchange students. 66 students participated in the IFMSA SCOPE Professional Exchange programme, and 5 students participated in the IFMSA SCORE Research Exchange programme. 35 students were in Malta on bilateral exchange (i.e. a student from country X participates in an exchange in Malta and vice versa) and 36 students were here on unilateral exchange (i.e. a student from country Y participates in an exchange in Malta, but no Maltese students go on exchange in that country). The most popular months were the summer months: MMSA hosted 26 students in July, 25 students in August, and 11 students in September. In the case of Professional Exchange, the students applied to study in three departments, and one of these departments was chosen according to availability. The student was assigned to a particular consultant, with whom he/she studied for the whole month. Most students studied at Mater Dei Hospital, while students studying Dermatology studied at Sir Paul Boffa Hospital. In the case of Research Exchange, students applied to participate in one of a number of research projects with the Pathology Department and Infectious Diseases Department. The exchange students were picked up from the airport by MMSA students, and they were provided with accommodation in flats in the Msida area. Bilateral exchange students were provided with 20 food tokens, one for each working day of the month, to be used at Lo Spuntino Restaurant. During the summer months, two contacts persons were appointed per month to organise a social programme for the students, including trips to Mdina, Valletta, Sliema, Gozo, Comino and several other places of interest. The Exchanges section of the MMSA website www.mmsa.org.mt was updated with information on the application documents, accommodation, hospital and social programme for all exchange students to see. The MMSA exchange team attended the IFMSA August General Assembly in Macedonia, where MMSA participated in both SCOPE and SCORE sessions. In the August GA, the NEO/NORE-Out and NEO/NORE-In decided on which contracts to sign for the following

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exchange season. These contracts determine which country will send students to Malta, and also to which country MMSA can send students. In the IFMSA March General Assembly in Thailand, members from the MMSA delegation met up with the equivalent teams of other countries, in order to exchange the application documents belonging to the students going on exchange in the next season.


NEO/NORE-outgoings

National Exchange Officer and National Officer on Research Exchange

Francesca Lentini Attendance to all Electoral Board meetings that were held monthly and according to needs as set up by the President allows consistent performance of the NEO/NORE-Out Duties: updates about SCOPE (Standing Committee on Professional Exchange) and SCORE (Standing Committee on Research Exchange) were given to the other MMSA officials. In addition there was discussion, decisions and voting about issues such as signing of new contracts with sponsors, resolving of disputes and changes in bylaws. Attending international meetings particularly the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA)’s General Assembly (GA) – this year held in Ohrid, Macedonia is also inherent to my post’s duties to enforce international relationships for continuing exchange opportunities. During the GA, I represented MMSA in the SCOPE and SCORE sessions and participated in training, discussions and by voting on SCOPE and SCORE bylaws. During the AGM, appropriate bilateral and unilateral contracts were signed. The exchange contracts were chosen according to past experience and according to demand by MMSA members. During the March Meeting, which this year was held in Bangkok, Thailand, in addition to the above, documents pertaining to Maltese students going to IFMSA exchanges and required by the hosting countries as stipulated on the exchange conditions of the NMO (Nation Member Organisation) were to be given to the counterpart NEOs and NOREs. Unfortunately due to study commitments I could not attend the March meeting myself; however I collected all relevant documents from the students and briefed a delegate who was replacing me on what should be done. In November, calls for applications for unilateral exchanges via our online journal - MMSA news were opened. In December the bilateral exchange application forms were issued after which these had to be collected, processed and results published. Du-

ring processing the applicants were given points for their work done in MMSA as follows: 1-20 points for work done in MMSA, 1 point for attending the Annual General Meeting (AGM), 1 point for being a contact person in summer, 1 point if the student has never been on an MMSA exchange before. This year the point system was altered to make the whole system more transparent, an initiative well received by the students and applicants. Once the students were chosen to go on exchange, their data on IFMSA.net database was inputted, and an online IFMSA application form was generated for each student, this was completed by the student and then sent to the hosting NEO. Being continuously available to answer to any query regarding exchanges, usually by email is a constant but essential job. Amongst other queries, students with problems of negative titre test of immunisations had to be referred to the consultant of infectious diseases at Mater Dei Hospital. Other common problems were with the actual database and changes of dates of exchanges. A detailed annual report on expenditure and income regarding the work of SCOPE and SCORE was then presented during the AGM in March. This year a student handbook in collaboration with IFMSA SCOPE for the outgoing students was created, enabling them to fill while on exchange and serving as an indispensable tool for future reference for the student. A Research Day was organised for the first time, this involved local researchers presenting their research work and encouraging students to start their own research, and also how to go about this.

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National Peer-Education and Training (NPET) NPET Coordinator

Nicholas Mamo This was the first year there was an NPET Division and Coordinator. The work involved organising the various Peer-Education programmes MMSA runs, which involves constant liaising with the Standing Committees under which these projects are run; and organising any training events necessary while also assisting in any other training events being run within MMSA. Until June 2009, MMSA effectively had four peer-education programmes, namely: • Anti-tobacco • Eating Disorders • PeaceTest (Human Rights) • Comprehensive Sexual Health Education (CSE) Later on in the year, MMSA became involved in the European Action on Drugs (EAD) and ran sessions on Substance Abuse during the NSTF Science Fair at Villa Bighi in April, thus starting the fifth Peer-Education programme. These sessions are run in secondary and post-secondary schools by trained peer-educators (with two present for every session). The training workshops the NPET division ran this year were: NPET workshop – a workshop aimed to impart its participants with all the necessary skills (and as many subsidiary skills) to make them effective peer-educators. The workshop is based on workshops run by international organisations such as Y-Peer and IFMSA. The workshop ran from the 30th of October till the 1st of November. This year, we had 21 participants, including one psychology student. Running the sessions where a collection of about 6 trainers, including one law student, himself an experienced peer-educator and one psychology student. TNT (Training New Trainers) workshop – this is aimed at imparting skills so as to make the participants able trainers – to run sessions on various general skills, which can include ba-

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sics like ‘Time-Management’ or ‘Public Speaking’; or more difficult or out of the ordinary subjects such as ‘How to Design a Curriculum’ or ‘Creativity’. This is based on IFMSA TNTs, which are themselves developed and improved based on standards of other international student organisations. This was the first time that a TNT was held in Malta, and ran from the 9th till the 11th of October. The workshop was run by a Dutch trainer, Salmaan Sana, from IFMSA as well as myself, with some help from Stefan Buttigieg. There were 15 participants for this first workshop, which proved to be very effective and productive. Apart for these workshops, the NPET division also offered assistance to other sectors of the MMSA, such as SCOME, to which it provided materials and assisted in finding trainers for its MEDIK-T (Medical Education Development International Kit – Training) workshop.


MMSA Standing Committees

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MMSA Executive Board 2009-2010

1st Row(from Bottom) : Francesca Theuma(President) , Alison Psaila (Electives Coordinator) 2nd Row : Gabrielle Scicluna(NORA) , James Borg (Leisure Officer), Chiara Vella(NORP) 3rd Row: Francesca Lentini(NEO-NORE-out), Jacob Vella(Financial Officer), Simon Aquilina(SecGen) 4th Row: Ben Chetcuti ( Marketing Officer), Nicholas Mamo(NPET Coordinator), Jonathan Gauci (NEO-NORE-Out) 5th Row: Mark Abela(Vice-President), Stephanie Azzopardi(Media Officer), Raphael Buttigieg(NOME) 6th Row : Stefan Buttigieg(IFMSA OFficial) and James Gauci (NPO) Missing from this photo : Chantal Fenech(IFMSA Official and Alumni Officer)

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European Regional Meeting 2010 - Malta A picture Story

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Annual Report 2009/2010