The Surgical Students' Society of Melbourne engages in advocacy work across multiple levels:
Local - the SSSM actively works with the University of Melbourne, Department of Surgery, as well as the University of Melbourne Medical Students Society (UMMSS), to advocate for student requests and interests regarding surgical education. We strive to improve surgical education to best suit student needs, and to supplement the surgical curriculum provided by the university.
International - the SSSM advocates for, and actively works towards improving, global surgery. Global surgery refers to 'an area of study, research, practice, and advocacy that seeks to improve health outcomes and achieve health equity for all people who need surgical and anaesthesia care, with a particular focus on underserved populations and populations in crisis' (1). Our involvement with global surgery is multifactorial, but two key initiatives for 2018 include:
- Global Surgery Day Move Night - a key event, new for 2018, is our annual movie night, which aims to promote and educate students about global surgery by inviting students to view an educational film on the topic of global surgery. This will be held on may 25th, Global Surgery Day, and will be further facilitated by working with one of our 2018 partners, Incision, which is the largest student-led international group focusing on global surgery.
- Specialists Without Borders (SWB) Annual Donation - the SSSM holds an annual fundraiser in the form of selling themed calendars throughout late spring/early summer to raise money for our annual donation to SWB. SWB is 'an Australian-based non-profit organisation contributing towards sustainable medical education in developing countries'. Information about this group can be found at . To date, this initiative has been led by our Royal Melbourne Hospital committee, but we hope to expand this project to include all Melbourne Medical School sites for 2019.
1. Byass, P., 2010. The imperfect world of global health estimates. PLoS Medicine, 7(11), p.e1001006.