Letter from our national director, Ben Eder
The first thing that I would like to say is a huge thank you to Issy Marks, who, for reasons outlined in this thank you letter, decided to step down from the position of Medsin National Director. Issy is passionate, caring and loves Medsin to its core. She has worked tirelessly this year and amongst all of that work, I would particularly like to highlight her great strides towards pushing the network to understand itself and its members more through gathering data around reach and impact. This valuable work is something that myself and the National Committee will be looking to build upon.
Following Issy’s decision to step down, after being the Co-Training Director alongside Joanna Marsden for the first half of the year, I decided to put myself forward to be the National Director for the rest of this term. It is the greatest privilege to have been chosen by the Board of Trustees and National Committee to take on the role until Spring General Assembly.
I first discovered Medsin in Bristol at the end of my second year of university. Now, in my 6th and (hopefully) final year of studying medicine, I can reflect that finding Medsin was a ‘lollipop moment’ for me, a moment which has changed my journey. It took me from a place of feeling outraged by social injustice to feeling hopeful by joining this movement of engaged people, educating, advocating and creating change. Since then, I have had the chance to experience medsin as the diverse, dynamic network that it is. I had a great year as Bristol Co-president with the brilliant Emma Hunt. With the immense Ellen Haire and Silas Webb, I helped co-coordinate the unbelievable Bristol Organising Committee to put on the Global Health Conference 2016 - Sustainable Development: Our Roles in the Goals. I have had the privilege of being part of Medsin’s training network from attending my Training New Trainers course in Leeds in October 2015 to leading TNT in London and Leicester in April and October 2016, respectively. Finally, since September, I have been on national committee as Co-Training Director with the awesome Joanna.
2016 was a chaotic, challenging and difficult year for humanity. 2017 so far has been no different - the Executive Orders being rolled out by the Trump administration and the UK government going back on the dubs amendment are just a few examples. Brendan Cox said in his poignant 'Alternative Christmas Message', "If 2016 was a wake up call, I hope 2017 might be the year in which we realise that we've got more in common than that which divides us." I have most definitely felt hopeless at times this year and at a loss with the world around us, but Medsin continues to give me hope.
When I started my medsin journey, I often struggled to explain what Medsin did but over time, as Simon Sinek highlights in the Golden Circle, I have come to realise that it is why Medsin exists that is so fundamental. I believe in “a fair and just world in which equity in health is a reality for all” and I believe in Medsin, now more than ever, as a movement to help that journey.
Medsin is a grassroots network, it is the members’ unbelieveable action that makes us such a dynamic student-led movement. We want to hear from you - how we can engage, how we can educate, how we can advocate, how we can innovate, how we can change and how we can act towards our vision. Let’s make 2017 a year to be hopeful, a year to use our voice.
Big Medsin Love,