panel debate in Brussels – “Interprofessional collaboration – Challenging Barriers” and Board Meeting

Brussels, Belgium Monday 23rd February – a big day for EMSA: it marked the first panel debate in the political capital of Europe hopefully a series of more to come. EMSAs working theme for the year 2015 is Interproffesional Collaboration in Health Care – we are engaged in exchange projects (Twinning Project) and will even co-host an new and unique Training News Trainers Event together with European Pharmaceutical Students Association (EPSA) in Bucharest, Romania this April. Furthermore EMSA was engaged in a huge survey on interproffessional collaboration in medical education in December 2014 amongst more than 1500 healthcare students from Europe, which is currently analyzed and prepared for scientific publication. Meanwhile we are working on a common approach in advocacy and health care policy of the European Health Care students Associations Summit – which first episode also was held in December 2015 and have pending applications for workshops or presentations on this topic at conferences such as the AMEE conference in September 2015 (Glasgow, UK). The message is clear: The sooner students learn to embrace and introduce this concept as a must-have for their practice, the higher the benefit it is for everyone involved, whether we are students in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry or nursery but especially for the person at the center of our activity: the patient. EMSA managed to invite speakers of the leading professional healthcare associations in Europe for this high-level panel debate:

Nina Brandelet – Bernot, Head of Office of the Council of European Dentists;Birgit Beger, Secretary General of the Standing Committee of European Doctors; Paul de Raeve, Secretary General of the European Federation of Nurses and John Chave, Secretary General of the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union 

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It was really pleasant to see, at the end of all the speeches, the involvement of the attending students and the great number of questions just waiting to be answered, even too many to fit in such a short timeframe. But this just goes out to prove once again the interest of all parties in collaboration and it was just the perfect incentive that sparked the idea of more debates like this.    We would like to thank again the speakers who so kindly accepted our invitation, the WHO Europe Representative to EU institutions as well as MEP Bogdan Wenta for promoting the event and hosting us in the United Nations house. Non of this would have been possible without the great involvement of EMSA Alumni who helped us enormously with finding a venue in Brussels, coordinating logistics and finding speakers.    But for me, as an EEB boardie, that weekend in Brussels meant even more than just a successful debate. For me, it also meant another opportunity to see my fellow board members, to brainstorm on how to make EMSA an even better organization, to discuss all the projects we have in mind, but it also meant some good teambuilding time, be it while visiting Brussels or just while eating dinner, sitting at the same table. It also meant the opportunity to see old friends but to also meet new people, to discuss with our EMSAi about what they want from EMSA as an association and what they love about us, but also to create some friendships that will hopefully last long. The EMSA European Board meeting took place in the offices of the Standing committee of European Doctors (CPME) in Brussels, EMSAs most important partner amongst the European Medical Organizations. The Brussels office is also EMSAs official mail address, seat of the EMSA archives (going back over 25 years) and working place of the EMSA Permanent Officer – our intern towards CPME. Various things were discussed during the board meeting, such as how to help FMOs with future applications for EMSA events, follow up of the EMSA 2020 discussions and suggestions of a stronger national level during the Plovdiv GA in September 2014, preparations of the Spring Assembly as well as how to achieve more members engagement. For the first time in recent EMSA history EMSA members had the chance to attend the board meeting as observers an get an insight into the work and topics of the European Board, in total 6 EMSA members from two FMOs participated in this quite successful initiative.

Daria Gheorghe European Integration Director  

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