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Everyone must read this!

MedSIN Action Plan

Suggestions from the GA 2001 delegates for areas of focus for MedSIN in the near future

This Action Plan is based on the meetings the MedSIN-UK delegates had at the most recent IFMSA meeting in Denmark, August 2001. These are our suggestions for what MedSIN should concentrate on over at least the next year, to enable MedSIN to grow and develop most effectively.

This is a summary, which I've kept as brief as possible TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE READS IT!!! It will be discussed at the Unireps meeting in Cambridge.

Any queries/suggestions please to chrishopkins@medsin.org

Part 1 - National Committee structure
The roles of the national committee should include...

Act as a central source of advice, information and assistance to all local groups. This should include co-ordinating national communication; maintaining website and newsletters; keeping track of local activities; maintaining contact with local Unireps; and providing advice and assistance to local groups when needed.

Act on behalf of MedSIN when dealing with externals on a national level, e.g. STAR, BMA-MSC etc.

Liaise with IFMSA officials to maintain our relationship/membership.

An expanded and more structured committee would make accessing it less confusing, more effective, and better organised. We should, however, make sure that bureaucracy is kept to a minimum, and acknowledge that overlaps in roles may occur and flexibility is necessary.
The following positions are suggested:

President:- External 'face' of MedSIN; liaise with IFMSA; liaise with externals; facilitate/co-ordinate National Committee and ensure effective discussion and action takes place.

Secretary (or alternative title):- Internal co-ordinating role - keeping track of contact details, local activities etc; encouraging national communication; providing general national and local information.

(Vice-President):- Possible position to enable sharing of workload - 'another pair of hands'.

Treasurer:- National budgeting/accounting; co-ordinating national branch fees; national fundraising; source of advice/information on financial issues for local groups.

(Fundraiser):- Possible position for assistance with national fundraising and advice/information.

News Co-ordinator:- Collect news, info and articles from within MedSIN; compile newsletters; encourage members to communicate.

Webmaster:- Co-ordinate design and updating of national website; assist with technical enquiries.
This committee should communicate closely, and hold regular meetings in addition to the Unireps meetings.
The IFMSA has a similar structure.

In addition there should be further positions for national co-ordinators of specific areas of activity:

National Exchange Officer (= NEO within the IFMSA exchanges program)

Sex Projects Co-ordinator (= National Officer for Reproductive health and Aids, NORA)

Marrow Co-ordinator

Homeless Co-ordinator

Refugees Co-ordinator (= National Officer for Refugees & Peace, NORP)

International Projects Co-ordinator (would be point of contact for information on international projects, ensure that a booklet of IFMSA projects is kept up-to-date etc.)

These people would not necessarily be on the National Committee, but they would be seen as national positions and they would work closely with the National Committee and with each other. They would also liaise with the IFMSA on their issues of interest, e.g. our Sex Projects Co-ordinator would also be our 'NORA' in the IFMSA. This group of positions should have a collective name, e.g. 'Activities Board' or 'Board of Co-ordinators'.


Part 2 - Priority areas of national activity

We believe there are certain areas of activity which should be concentrated on nationally in the near future. Focusing on these would give a more 'national feel' to MedSIN; would help newer or struggling groups to focus on the activities which will help them progress more effectively; and would help MedSIN as a whole to grow and develop more effectively. However, we do not want to restrict local activities, and you should definitely continue to come up with your own ideas as well.

1. Exchanges
The Number One priority for MedSIN for the coming years should be to get IFMSA exchanges set up in every UK medical school. See Part 3 for more details on this proposed 'Exchanges Taskforce'.


2. Continue with existing national networks
Already we have established national networks on specific issues. All have had great successes, purely because they are excellent issues to get involved in, they are easy to facilitate, and they produce noticeable and rewarding results. Sexpression deals with peer-led sex education in schools; Marrow aims to recruit people on to the national bone marrow register; Global Health Curriculum aims to push for international health issues to be incorporated into our curricula; Homed is a network which will hopefully be launched from the national homelessness workshop.
All of these projects should be continued, as they are core activities for any group to get involved in.

3. National awareness campaigns
Nationally co-ordinated awareness campaigns would enable the Network to communicate closely on a specific area of interest, to raise our profile around the country, and give every group something to focus on for a period of time. Examples of campaigns could include World AIDS Day, Homelessness, Refugees, Landmines, Third World Debt or Ethical Sponsorship.

4. International Project
Taking on a key organising role in an IFMSA project, as a country, would increase our profile in the IFMSA, and also be a great way to promote ourselves to potential new members. However, it is a very large undertaking and at present our lack of infrastructure and experience means we can only realistically take on a project which is already established, and would require a fundraising, recruitment and administrative role. This unfortunately rules out most IFMSA projects, but we remain open to the idea.

Remember, the aim is not to restrict your activities, but just to suggest directions for the most effective paths to take!


Part 3 - Exchanges Taskforce

As mentioned in Part 2, we believe our 'Numero Uno' priority for MedSIN should be setting up IFMSA Exchanges. We therefore propose setting up an 'Exchanges Taskforce'.

Why?
Presently the exchanges in the UK is severely limited, being established only at Nottingham. The demand from within the IFMSA for exchanges with the UK is immense, as would be the potential demand for exchanges from UK medical students. In addition, it is the core activity of the IFMSA; it establishes a permanent activity for MedSIN; it increases our profile locally, nationally and internationally; and it gives groups a focus to work on and to establish themselves, especially with their faculty.

What will happen?

The National Exchange Officers (NEOs) at Nottingham will put together a starter pack for local groups.

We will ensure that this is plugged from now on, and especially at the National Conference in Cambridge.

There will be an exchanges workshop at Cambridge.

A network will be set up for Local Exchange Officers (LEOs), with hopefully at least one at each branch. Larger branches will be especially targeted!

At a later date there should be a national workshop, and some could attend an IFMSA exchanges training meeting abroad!

Approaching your local BMA-MSC reps and Student/Staff committees will be helpful.

We can not emphasise enough how important we think this is, so please get involved at Cambridge and afterwards! For more info email exchanges@medsin.org



MedSIN Action Plan 2001
Proposed by the delegates from MedSIN-UK at the IFMSA August GA 2001 in Denmark
Drafted by Chris Hopkins - chrishopkins@medsin.org

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