EAMSC 2011: Academics

AMSA conferences, be it the AMSC or EAMSC, always have an interesting academic component. The topics chosen are very relevant and close to medical students. The theme for EAMSC 2011 was Adolescent Health with the tagline "Embrace the Future, Better the World”. The academic program included a lecture, group discussions + presentation, site visits, and competitions.

As a whole, the program was interesting and painless – we learned so many new stuffs without realizing. Well, mostly because we spent so much daytime in snooze mode; but trust me, we actually gained tons of knowledge to share.

The academic program was opened with the keynote lecture “Global Overview on Adolescent Health” by Dr. Maureen Birmingham, WHO representative to Thailand. (Now that I’ve just realized how important her lecture was, I feel so bad not taking a picture of her :( She’s in the photo below, on stage wearing the white jacket).

P1010802 She presented adolescent health problems by the numbers, putting them into perspective. The usual suspects are there: maternal death, infection, NCDs; but what caught my attention, despite forgetting the numbers, was how high the mortality rate of injuries is. Traffic crashes are taking the lives of so many teenagers, especially guys. Indonesian stats went on screen when she highlighted the results of Global School Health Survey regarding injuries, bullying, and smoking. For these, I wrote down the numbers but they are too depressing for this blog. This is a happy blog!

The group discussions were very informative since each member shared the perspective of his/her own country. The 20 groups were divided into 7 topics, ranging from the “traditional” issues (sex abuse, tobacco) to “modern” issues (eating disorders, obesity). My lovely group 15 discussed about alcohol addiction. It is an intriguing topic but I don’t know where Indonesia stands there. We seriously need to tickle more data out of this huge population.


The results of the discussion was presented in the last day. Groups were free to choose how they will share the results, and my group opted to perform a role play. My creative friends concocted an light-hearted alcoholic version of A Christmas Carol complete with the three Ghosts of Alcoholic Past, Present, and Future. Everybody had a good laugh during our performance. By the way, I starred as a drunk-driving grandma-hitting “Scrooge” of the future. Pretty violent and so much fun :D


In the scientific paper competition, my team and I represented Indonesia with our paper on sexual abuse victims in Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital. Before the conference, we had been selected into the Top 10, which meant that our presentation would be judged. It was a nerve-wrecking experience, especially the Q&A session. We didn’t place in the Top 3; but scores aside, I think we did surprisingly well. The presentation went without a hitch and the questions were all answered, more or less. In fact, I was very proud of myself, I learned a lot from the experience, and I am looking forward to represent Indonesia again in the next conference. Insya Allah.


There was also a poster competition. My friends from Pelita Harapan University represented Indonesia with their poster on teenage pregnancy. Their scientific and public poster won them 2nd place, congratulations :) And again, I feel bad for not taking a picture with their poster T_T

My favorite public poster was Hong Kong’s, which brought the issue of gaming addiction. Another poster that left a good impression was Singapore’s poster about teenage depression.

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The site visit took place in Rajavithi Hospital. There was a lecture on how bad the effects of alcoholism are on an individual and on the society as a whole. It was quite compelling if the professor didn’t try to cram a phonebook-load of statistics into a presentation right after lunch. So, instead of enlightening, the lecture was sleep-inducing. I would be very grateful if I can grab the handout, though. This is our group picture before the ordeal.


And once again, words will never suffice in sharing the wonderful experience of EAMSC 2011. Joining AMSA is definitely one of my best life decisions :))


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