Yifan Han – 1st year student, General member, Dean’s CFMS Travel Award Winner
Attending the CFMS Spring General Meeting turned out to be a valuable experience. Having no prior experience with student politics, it was eye-opening to see the procedural workings of an organizational proceeding such as the SGM. Additionally, I gained an appreciation of the strengths and challenges of passing motions in a democratic assembly. These types of knowledge gained at SGM will be useful in my future contributions in any type of professional or community organization. Some of the most enjoyable sessions involved meeting with delegates from other universities and learning how their universities are run, regarding both curricular content and administrative policies. I hope that either the SMSS or any U of S student can bring some of those components to our school to further improve our student experience.
Brooke Hoffman – 2nd year student, SMA Representative Sr, Dean’s CFMS Travel Award Winner
My favourite part of the CFMS SGM was the opportunity to learn about other schools’ career planning during the small working groups. We discussed shared characteristics regarding career planning in our curricula, and I was able to learn about some unique career planning opportunities at different schools. One student described career panels similar to our school’s, but they were held after each block (e.g. a nephrology/urology career panel following the FKUT module). Additionally, I learned of an initiative put forth by graduating students every year in which they host a “post-CaRMS matching advice night.” Students matching to different specialties and/or students who matched via Couples Match offer advice to students approaching their own CaRMS match. Overall, attending SGM was an extremely valuable opportunity that allowed me to meet students from other schools and discuss strengths and weaknesses of our respective programs.
Steven Martyniuk – 2nd year student, General member
The trip to Halifax for CFMS SGM definitely varied from my expectations. After going to the CMA General Council Meeting in August I found it interesting to contrast how the two meetings were run. Something that really stood out to me was the student comradery that took place at SGM. I found that the small group discussions and the socials were a great way to hear about how other medical schools are functioning, what is working for them and what issues they are facing. It was also a great motivator to hear about some of the other initiatives that are taking place at other schools such as changes to indigenous curriculum and dealing with unmatched graduates. I found the speakers at SGM to be a bit disappointing if I am being honest. Especially after coming from CMA GC, which had phenomenal presentations back to back, I had high hopes for what would be discussed at the SGM. I am not sure if it was based on a lack of time given to each speaker/panel or if it was discussing topics in a way that didn’t seem to address the issues we are concerned about. I appreciated that they talked about mental health in medical students; I felt that this talk opened up the door to more personal conversations between colleagues at the conference. The most valuable part of these conferences is the small group discussions that take place in formal sessions or in a social environment. Overall, it was a positive experience and I am very grateful that the SMSS supported me to be a part of SGM 2018.
Olivia Friesen – 2nd year student, Student Groups Coordinator
I really appreciated the opportunity to attend cams sgm as I feel I learned much about how the federation runs, and what I as an individual student can do to contribute to these operations. One of the most valuable experiences of the conference for me was the small working groups. Particularly the session on creating position/policy papers. Learning about this process has empowered me to be able to bring issues forward that matter to students at the UofS and should matter to the CFMS on a national scale to develop them to eventually become standards for the federation. Ii also greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss federal Day of Action topics as our provincial Day of Action/lobby day has been a passion of mine over the past two years, and I believe that political advocacy is a powerful tool we can use to better our patients lives. This is especially true for Saskatchewan as we have one of the largest Indigenous populations in Canada, and their healthcare is almost exclusively dictated by federal policy. I also relished the opportunity to hear the resolutions being brought forward and discuss them with my classmates/colleagues as a delegate there. Despite just being a general member, I really felt as though my voice mattered to the group, and it was a pleasure working with the dedicated individuals who were present. Overall my experience was extremely positive and I believe having a large number of delegates from Sask can have a wonderful impact on our own students as well as the federation.
Gabilan Sivapatham – 2nd year student, Global Health Liaison Sr
I had the opportunity to attend the CFMS Spring General Meeting from April 26-28, 2018 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This was an opportunity to engage with students from medical schools across the country and learn about the issues that were pertinent to each region.
On Thursday, April 26th, I attended the global health program as the Global Health Liaison Senior for the U of S. This was a great opportunity to hear about the types of activities other GHLs were involved with at their schools and to share our own successes, particularly the Making the Links program as well as some of our initiatives within the Global Health portfolio. I was able to make connections with a few others school and have followed up in hopes of gaining some support for our Global Health Conference in October 2018.
The next day, we heard from representatives from the AFMC Student Portal, Canadian Residency Match, and the Medical Council of Canada. While this could be useful to students, the content seemed quite dry and not as appropriate for a national gathering of students. This information could have been passed on through other online means. We heard from a representative of the CMA National Physician Health Survey, which focused on the mental well-being of medical students, residents, doctors, etc. While this was also useful knowledge, it may not be appropriate for a national gathering of students. I highlight this point because, at least from my perspective, traveling to spend a few days with other medical students should focus on maximizing time spend discussing successes and obstacles of various parts of our medical curriculum with other students.
The resolutions marketplace proved valuable to be able to speak to students who had developed position papers, for example, on relevant and pressing issues in medicine, from stances on marijuana legalization to improvements in education on the opioid crisis.
Having dinner with Dean Smith and Dean Stobart was a pleasant opportunity to connect with the deans as well as other 1st year medical students.
The resolution session was a valuable learning opportunity for me, as I had not been part of this procedure in the past. Albeit highly bureaucratic, this was a great window into how large institutions maintain democracy when engaging diverse opinions.
Overall, I thought this was a great opportunity as the Global Health Liaison to connect with other students working on global health initiatives at their respective schools. I hope that in the future, there is more opportunity for students to engage with one another instead of hearing from speakers about general topics that could be shared through other means. I hope the SMSS continues to support students attending these national meetings and provide opportunities for leadership.