The Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) 2023 is an annual IFMSA conference. In early July, AMSAHK sent 22 delegates IFMSA’s Asia Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) 2023 in Manila, the Philippines! With this year’s theme ‘Global Competitiveness in Healthcare: Improving Access For a Better Tomorrow’, APRM brought together medical students in the Asia-Pacific region to create meaningful youth engagement in global health. Though keynote speakers, sessions in standing committees, and parallel sessions, participants had the opportunity to explore topics and issues beyond the boundaries of the medical curriculum. Another key component of APRM is cultural exchange and social programmes, which fostered the formation of long-lasting international connections and friendships.
APRM23 was nothing short of incredible. From the Filipino organising committee’s enduring welcome, to the re-confluence of Asia-Pacific delegates we now are so lucky to call our friends, I can wholeheartedly say that APRM23 has reinforced my faith and love for the IFMSA Asia-Pacific family. With the festivities intermixed with outpourings of profound human rights and peace insights, I have thoroughly enjoyed this chance to once again embrace such an incredible group of people, in such a warm and vibrant country.
If I had to pick one moment to define what I love most about this conference, it would have to be the NFDP. Exploring each NMO’s stalls and bonding with new friends over so similar, yet so different food and drink delights continues to be one of my core medical school memories. From familiar Australian Tim-Tams or not-so-familiar Vietnamese butter-and-dried-shrimp spring rolls, I treasure the time to let loose and connect with all the APRM delegates after a day’s work. Better still, the performances — getting into each country’s unique grooves, and of course keeping the adrenaline rush of our delegation’s reputation-defining Monica performance close to heart, was a true representation of what it means to be part of this Asia-Pacific family. We band together as medical students ready to learn from each other’s unique perspectives in sessions, but also indulge in each other’s cultures in a way that firmly sticks with us — as memories, flavours, and beats to dance the night away.
- Winston (HKU M27)
During APRM 2023, I attended the several meetings and activities that were planned, including the activities fair, exchanges fair, cultural events and the SCOPH sessions. I especially enjoyed the SCOPH sessions as I got to meet so many new and like-minded people who all have an interest in public health. On the first day, we learnt about motivational interviewing where we learned about the fundamental principles and methods of patient-centred interviewing. This involved utilising established frameworks such as OARS and the Transtheoretical Model. The session focused on substance misuse and addiction medicine, with specific attention given to nicotine, cannabis, alcohol, and other illicit substances. We took part in case studies, received constructive feedback to improve our skills to prepare for future medical practice. On the second day, we had a talk about mental health as mental health issues among medical students have become increasingly concerning worldwide, especially within the Asia Pacific region. This talk provided a more comprehensive understanding of the current mental health challenges faced by medical trainees and explored potential solutions to address this urgent issue. On the final day, the IFMSA SCOPH director, Salman Khan, taught us how to write international policy documents which would be extremely helpful for our future projects within AMSAHK’s SCOPH. I also presented in the activities fair about one of SCOPH’s collaboration events (‘Contagion: Control or Compassion?’). This was a great opportunity to practise my presentation skills and meet different people who are interested in our event. Finally, the cultural event was extremely memorable and such an amazing experience as I got to watch each country’s performances, try their local snacks, and had so much fun interacting with different delegates. In conclusion, APRM was definitely a fruitful and rewarding trip, where I not only learned new skills and knowledge, but also got to meet so many wonderful people.
- Florence (CUHK M28)