Medical students conference 2022 – a chance to affect real change

by Callum George

With the pandemic far from over, it’s an important opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the working lives of fellow medical students

Location: Wales
Published: Friday 1 April 2022
callum george

As daily life gradually lurches towards something more 'normal' and other events and crises begin to divert public attention away, it may seem to some that the pandemic is over. Of course, for many, that is far from true. For many of the most marginalised, stigmatised and neglected groups within our society, the pandemic has pushed their urgent needs further down the agenda than ever before.

Medical students from across the UK, who will be attending their first national conference held in person by the BMA since the spring of 2019, will get a chance to learn about these injustices first-hand.

They will benefit from the expertise and lived experiences of those with an understanding of the healthcare needs of those who are homeless, the plight of refugees, and the overdose epidemic that is claiming more lives now than ever before.

They will benefit from the wisdom of those who have dedicated their lives to the health and wellbeing of others and will at the same time get their first opportunity to meet one another and form professional connections across the country since the pandemic began.

They will be given the unparalleled chance to affect real, tangible change in the real world by deciding the new policy to be created for the student branch of the BMA, by debating and voting on motions brought by delegations from every medical school in the four nations of the UK.

On 8 and 9 April, they will arrive in London to represent the interests of their peers, the country's population of over forty thousand future doctors.

Attending the medical students conference as a delegate was the moment that inspired me to originally get involved with the BMA. It is a great privilege to be chairing this gathering and facilitating these debates, as one of the last acts of my own time at medical school before joining the ranks of new doctors myself later this summer.

We hope to make the discussions accessible to our wider membership and beyond to those who are interested after the two-day event is over. I encourage you to take a look and see the issues that are important to medical students.

Meanwhile, keep in mind that this pandemic is far from over. Not only for those still working themselves to the bone in health and social care and beyond, who have kept our health service and other vital public services afloat these past two years under unprecedented pressure, but also for those people in most desperate need of support, to whom the focus and resources of our society have not yet adequately reached. Until the pandemic is over for them, it isn't over for anyone.

Callum George is the UK medical students conference 2022 chair