Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Voices of Strength

[SMMAMS Chairman message, in Facebook group : "Voices of our Hearts -Malaysian Medical Students"]

Dear all,
As we can see, through this short ongoing discussion in our Facebook group, there are disparities regarding the approach towards our current issue.
We have thoughts ranging from : "send in a memorandum or call for a press conference" to "isn't it kind of presumptuous of us to send suggestions to solve the problem to mma or moh, as if we know best?".
This is good, as having members who are conservatives and members who are liberals will help steer the direction of our approach to moderation, not to go too conservative, nor too liberal in our approach.
The ultimate goal of SMMAMS, is to be an advocate for medical students in Malaysia. At the same time, we are a part of MMA, and as medical students, we are the apprentice of our doctors, those who had gone before us, and hence, our actions shall not be against what our doctors, our teachers, belief.

In this situation, MMA and SMMAMS are in sync. MMA has articles in the Berita, and has tried to highlight this situation countless of times through annual dinners with some people with power. The SMMAMS EXCO has attended 2 of such dinners.
In our country, the level of support an association has is gauged simply by the number of members that the association has. An association who claims to be THE association for ALL the XYZ in Malaysia, will be challenged by the question "So, how many members do you have in your association?".
It is the same for SMMAMS. There are no university rules that forbid medical students to join the MMA, as far as I know.
In our 2009 student membership report, we have close to 2,000 members. 786 are from Melaka Manipal, and 630 are from Kursk State. This means that 70% of our student members are from just 2 universities. Out of the other 26 medical schools (in 2009), some with 2 intakes per year, others with close to 200 students per intake, we only have 584 members.
Do number of members matter for an association? Yes it does. It is the only solid prove an association has to be claiming what it claims.
SMMAMS claims to be the advocate for medical students, and SMMAMS base its claims on the fact that it is currently the only student medical association whose leadership is open to medical students from all universities. We are currently working on getting SMMAMS introduced to medical schools who have a low number of members inside MMA, as well as working on increasing the number of medical student members we have, which, on paper, will be the representation of the strength of our association.
We cannot achieve our goals and objectives without the help from YOU, which I presume to be have a strong spirit of leadership and activism, for the fact that you were introduced into this Facebook group by someone in the group.
SMMAMS is currently formulating a plan to directly link the core committee, with medical societies or student councils in each university. We need student leader volunteers for this project of ours, which may take up to several months, in view of the hectic schedule a medical student has.
In the mean time, I hope that YOU, encourage your fellow medical students, to have activism towards their future. Include discussions on the current health care situation in our country during your normal lunch / dinner with your friends. These will be our baby steps towards our ultimate goal.

Justin Lee
Society of MMA Medical Students

No comments:

Post a Comment