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GEMx Supports the 5th CICoM Student Competition in Mexico City

Filed under: From GEMx Staff GEMx News GEMx Sponsored Events

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Mexico City, Mexico to from February 3-7 for the 5th Edition of the of CICoM (Concurso Internacional de Conocimientos Médicos), taking place at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México’s (UNAM) Campus.  UNAM is a GEMx partner and has maintained a membership in the GEMx global network since the pilot of the program in 2013.  Through this partnership, the GEMx staff has forged long-standing relationships with leadership at UNAM, including Dr. Melissa M Islas Upegui, who oversees the International Program at the Faculty of Medicine, Movilidad Académica y Vinculación Interinstitucional (Mavi), and Dr. Irene Durante Montiel,  Secretary-General of the medical school.

GEMx was proud to be a sponsor for the fourth consecutive edition of the event, and it was an honor to witness the competition and observe the impressive display of medical knowledge demonstrated by student participants was hugely impressive.  As part of GEMx’s sponsorship, we were given the opportunity to present on GEMx global exchange network and other ECFMG | FAIMER service during the competition.

About CICoM

CICoM was launched in 2014, and has been taking place annually since its commencement (the quiz was canceled in 2017 due to the earthquake that hit Mexico City).  The event is student-run, with a self-elected organizing committee responsible for organizing and coordinating the competition.

This year, 28 teams participated from across Latin America, with six students per team, and a least one faculty member accompanying them to the Mexico City.

Quiz Format

The contest is divided into multiple rounds.  Each round includes the 15 questions, with 60 seconds provided to teams to huddle and decide on their answer to each question.  Teams then have five seconds to appeal to the jury, consisting of six medical professionals practicing in Mexico City. After the first round, the 16 top-scoring universities advance, with the remaining universities participating in the “Repechage”  or “consolation” bracket.

This tournament format continues over the next three days, ending in a head-to-head round competition between the remaining two teams.

The final standings of the 2020 CICoM competition were:

Fourth Place – University of Sonora, Hermosillo (Mexico)

Third Place  – Autonomous University of the State of Morelos (Mexico)

Second Place – Universidad del Rosario (Colombia)

First Place – CES University (Colombia)

Congratulations to all participants in this year’s CICoM event, and a special “felicitations” to the winning team from CES University in Medellín, Colombia (a GEMx partner!)

Feedback from Student Participants

Student Video Interviews with the Organizing Committee:

 

“I feel very happy, since it is a very positive experience that is full of learning, not just about Medicine. It is an opportunity to make new friends. ”Diana Marcela Lizate, University of Manizales,
Colombia.

“For my team and for me, it was a great pride to be here, representing our state and our faculty in this house of studies. We are very happy to have this experience. ” Oscar García Carbajal, Veracruzana University, Mexico

Cultural Activities in CICoM

In addition to the medical knowledge competition, quiz participants enjoyed various cultural activities, such as guided visits to the archaeological zone of Teotihuacán, to the Historic Center of Mexico City, and the School of Medicine building.   Students also had the opportunity to take in performances by UNAM’s  Mexican Folk Company, as well as the UNAM orchestra.

Interested in Participating in Future CICoM Events?

CICoM is open to all medical schools internationally.  If you are a medical student interested in participating in a future edition of the quiz, message CICoM through one of their social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Instagram) and a member of their organizing committee will be able to provide information and next steps in registering a team from your institution.

Veni, Vidi, Amavi (We Came, We Saw, We Loved)

Filed under: GEMx News GEMx Student Ambassador Network GEMx Student Reflections

By: Shin Loong Soong,  GEMx Student Ambassador from RCSI-UCD Malaysia Campus who participated in an internal medicine elective at Kasturba Medical College Manipal.

Located in Karnataka, India, Kasturba Medical College (KMC) Manipal is a constituent of Manipal Academy of Higher Education. Since its establishment by TMA Pai in 1953, KMC Manipal has held on to the mission of training competent, compassionate, and caring physicians by providing exceptional clinical teaching. With quality medical graduates practicing worldwide, along with having a college campus and a hospital here, as such Malaysians are no strangers to the name “Manipal”.

 

As part of the RUMC curriculum, an elective component was made mandatory for students prior to graduation, promoting medical knowledge exchange through learning from a system, settings and practices not familiar to the student however, what excited me the most, was the opportunity to travel and experience a cultural exchange. I can still remember attending a sharing session by the RUMC GEMx Ambassador, Dr Low Yik Chin back when I was a fresh third year student in RUMC. Being inspired by her experience, I decided to do my elective at KMC Manipal. As such, I submitted my application in February 2019 and was offered a place in KMC Manipal shortly after the submission of my application.

 

My elective journey in KMC Manipal began in December 2019, where I was attached to the Department of Internal Medicine, under the guidance of Dr Mukhayprana Prabhu, Professor of Medicine and Head of Unit 8 within the department. During the elective placement, I was given the opportunity to join the students in ward rounds and clinical bedside teachings by Dr Prabhu and the resident doctors. This gave me the opportunity to enhance my knowledge on appreciating clinical signs and symptoms as well as opening my eyes to rampant tropical diseases which were not commonly seen in Malaysia. Seeing rare diseases like these was a learning experience of a lifetime. Also beyond my expectations was the opportunity to write a case report on a rare facial fungal infection, working with Dr Prabhu and other authors, which we intend to submit for a journal publication in the future.

 

Physicians used to rely on their senses; seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling for physical anomalies to guide their diagnosis. Technological advancement has slowly superseded the role of a clinical examination in reaching a diagnosis, and although they are more sensitive and specific, they could also cause harm to patients, e.g. pain during blood taking and radiation exposure while taking an x-ray. However, this doesn’t demean the importance of these investigative tools. As such, the recipe of a good doctor would be having a strong foundation on the wisdom of modern medicine in appreciating clinical signs and symptoms and to apply evidence based practices effectively.

One of the biggest challenges that I have faced during my elective placement is the language barrier. Despite having the teaching and discussions conducted in English, most of the patients admitted were unable to converse in English, and with my inability to converse in Kannada, I was initially fearful that this compromised my learning, as clinical learning relies on communication with patients. However, the challenge was easily overcome with the help from my peers and the resident doctor, Dr Poonam Kamath, who have willingly took some of their valuable time to translate and explain the patients’ conditions to me.

With Malaysia being a big cultural melting pot that consists of three major race groups (Malay, Chinese and Indian), I was exposed to different cultures from a young age, and have always loved Indian cuisine. There are many things that I enjoy and like about India, the colourful sarees, the smell of incense and spices, the scenery comprising animals like cows and dogs roaming freely in the streets, the taste of delicious and authentic Indian cuisine, and the amazing Indian hospitality. As I travelled to India alone, I initially experienced some culture shocks and difficulty in adapting to life in India. But it is due to their amazing hospitality, and the kindness from a stranger who later become a friend, that I never felt lonely and my journey in India turned out to be amazing.

 

More than an opportunity for academic and clinical knowledge development, my elective journey in KMC Manipal, India has allowed me to expand my social networks and form many valuable friendships. Strong bonds were created even though it was just a short 4 week elective. Multiple life lessons have impacted me and lead me to count my blessings. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Prabhu, the resident doctors, and my fellow peers who made this elective journey a fruitful and memorable one. Some feelings are hard to express in words, so to conclude my elective journey in KMC Manipal, I would say “Veni, Vidi, Amavi”.

 

Faith Nawagi – GEMx Global Partnership Development Representative, Africa – wins Nursing Now Scholarship, May 2019

Filed under: From GEMx Staff GEMx News


We are pleased to inform you that Faith Nawagi was 1 of 30 nurses who received a scholarship award from Nursing Now; out of 800 applications. Faith attended the WHO 2019 World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, and received training in global health policymaking and advocacy.  This award was in recognition of the work Faith performs for GEMx; developing inter-continental, institutional partnerships to facilitate student exchanges across Africa.

Faith met with leadership of Nursing Now, Sigma Nursing, and the International Council of Nurses.  Leaders of these organizations expressed a strong interest to form a global nursing exchange network using the GEMx web-based platform.  GEMx plans to meet with leadership in November of 2019.

Faith also met with Dr. Jim Campbell, Executive Director of Global Health Workforce Alliance and Director of the Health Workforce Department at the WHO.  Dr. Campbell acknowledged the good work of ECFMG FAIMER, and is pleased that GEMx is a service of such a wonderful organization.

ECFMG FAIMER continues to receive recognition for the good work we do around the world.  ECFMG FAIMER continues to strengthen opportunities for our services and programs like GEMx, and garner opportunities to collaborate with WHO, Nursing Now and other highly-reputable organizations that are committed to global health, education and quality health care.

Faith standing by WHO sign

We congratulate Faith Nawagi on her good work, contributions and commitment to GEMx, and to ECFMG FAIMER.

About Nursing Now

Nursing Now is a “three-year global campaign (2018-2020), aims to improve health by raising the profile and status of nursing worldwide.”  Nursing Now works in collaboration with International Council of Nurses and WHO.  Barbara Stilwell is the Executive Director of Nursing Now Global Campaign; a former FAIMER Board member.

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