East Asian Medical Students’ Conference, 2015

The East Asian Medical Students’ Conference (EAMSC) is an event hosted by Asian Medical Student’s Association (International) annually. This year, I am greatly thankful for the opportunity to participate in the 28th conference hosted in Tangerang, West Jakarta, Indonesia, with the main theme of Sexually Transmitted Infections - “Halt the Disease, Help the People”. 

Upon our arrival at Jakarta Airport, we were welcomed by the warm smiles of the event organisers and the general moderators for the conference. We were then transferred to our hotel (Ibis Hotel Garding Serpong) to meet our conference group mates for the first time. It was truly an illuminating experience to meet a coalition of medical students from all around the region with diverse cultures, lifestyles and backgrounds. 

The next morning, we were sharply woken up by loud knockings on our door in the wee hours of the morning. It was only 5.00am and I could foresee a long list of exciting activities lined up for us. The day continued with keynote lectures given by international speakers from the World Health Organisation. They provided us with an informative overview of the epidemiology and global issues of STIs, together with the ways we could approach this growing problem. This was followed by various academic workshops which provided us with an insightful hands-on experience on circumcision and the examination of vaginal discharge - an opportunity that I would not have had otherwise as a Year 1 medical student.

One of the main highlights of the conference was undoubtedly the academic competition where delegates from different chapters would exchange their knowledge about health, epidemiology. We also discussed the solutions that can be implemented to deal with the expounding health problems related to STIs. Through their hardwork and dedication, the Singapore team managed to come in Third Place for both the academic paper and public poster competition.

Personally, my favourite activities from the conference would be the International Booths and the Cultural Night events. Not only were we given a chance to taste the traditional food, we were also audiences to the unique and well-choreographed performances of the different nations. Dressed in Red and White, we brought some of our famous mouth-watering local delicacies such as pineapple tarts, love letters, kachang puteh and even the popular Tiger Beer for sharing. As I am sure many of my other delegates would agree with me, food does bring people together. I really enjoyed mingling and making new friends while learning more about the stories behind the common food in their countries and the delicious delicacies - a true reflection of the diverse cultures brought together in this very conference. 

This being my first medical conference, I was not sure of what to expect initially. However, I am glad that I took the chance and signed up for this conference. The whole experience was a truly fulfilling and meaningful one; from having gained valuable medical knowledge and skills applicable to Singapore’s healthcare landscape, to creating fond memories and priceless friendships throughout. 

Having returned to Singapore to prepare for the new semester, I would often see pictures of the conference with the caption #PostConferenceSyndrome, reminding me of the wonderful times we had back at the conference. I really miss you guys, and I look forward to seeing you all again at the upcoming Asian Medical 

Gerald Fung