The do’s and don’ts of the Global Health Conference

­­­­­­First year medicine student, Eddy is back on the blog (read his Three ways to stay sane while studying Medicine blog post here) and he’s giving us a rundown on the do's and don’ts of attending the AMS Global Health Care Conference.

The Global Health Conference (GHC) is an annual event held by the Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA). It is run by med students, for med students who have an interest in global health. The conference runs over four academic days with inspirational speakers, five social nights including a gala, and this year there was also a ‘day in the green’ festival-style event.

I recently attended the 2016 GHC in Newcastle expecting to party hard on the social nights, make lots of new friends, and check out the academic days – in that order. However, throughout the conference it quickly became clear that the academic days would be the highlight of my trip.. I was blown away by many of the speakers and the hands-on workshops – they made me inspired and even more excited about becoming a doctor. The GHC also opened my eyes to all the amazing things people have achieved in the medical profession and the difference we can make on a global scale.

The thing that really impressed me about GHC was the attention to detail and how smoothly everything ran. There was a big focus on sustainability throughout the event. All the plates, cups and cutlery were made of sustainably-sourced bamboo and recyclable paper. All the leftover food was also donated to a local charity so there was no wastage. The speeches also focused on sustainability and global impact, which I found to be a very holistic and genuine approach.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the do’s and don’ts for anyone interested in attending next year’s GHC in Adelaide.

  • DO road trip down with some mates – if you love driving, bonding time, and saving money.
  • DON’T camp illegally on the way down ;)
  • DO take countless sunrise and sunset shots.

  • DO stop at an RSL for a cheap bite on the way down, enter their raffle, and win a tray of meat.
  • DON’T assume you have to stay in the location where the conference is hosted. This can be quite expensive and there are definitely cheaper places to stay if your student budget is tighter than lycra. You will be everyone’s best friend if you find a hostel that’s right by the beach, a close walk from the conference and half the price, so do your research before booking. Keep in mind when you’re booking that all the social nights will be located close to the conference location, so watch that you won’t be spending your extra cash saved on cab trips.
  • DO come prepared. This includes note-taking materials for the academic days, dress up/casual clothing for the social nights, and bringing food for while you are on the road if needed. There’ll be little to no time in your days to prepare once the conference starts.
  • DO go all out for the themed nights - it's always more fun to party in a funky costume.

  • DO take advantage of the amazing catering and lunches, plus all the freebies from the sponsors.
  • DON’T be wasteful with paper cups. I carried around the same one all of the first day and had about six cups of tea. As you can see it’s easy to Pika-choose a more sustainable option.

  • DO line up early for the workshops. There are limited places in each and everybody wants to do the practical ones like emergency obstetrics.
  • DO make the most of every moment, even the early mornings. You may be dying to stay out and party all night, but the morning sessions are really worth getting up for. It can be hard to get around to see everything, especially if you are getting to bed around 2am and waking up at 7am. If you need a quick morning wake-up cure an ocean dip and attending the morning yoga sessions is sure to do the job. After all it’s only five nights out of your year so be prepared to make some memories and have a blast.
  • DO check out the local sights while you’re in the city. Your days are pretty jam-packed so there’s not a huge amount of free time, but there’s definitely opportunity for a few trips to sight-see around the tourist attractions. After all, life’s a beach and you’ve gone all that way!

  • DO attend GHC. The experience is definitely worth it.
  • DON’T forget all the amazing things you’ve learnt, friends you’ve made, and memories you’ve had.
  • DO leave feeling inspired to be the best doctor you can be.

If you are interested in studying medicine at UQ but not sure where to start? Check out, How to study medicine at UQ or get in touch

Last updated:
23 January 2017