NLDS 2021: REFLECTIONS continued

The 2021 AMSA National Leadership Development Seminar, though held online, greatly influenced and presented essential personal and professional skills for medical students. Here are the reflections of three Monash students, sharing their experiences of the event and tips they received from the speakers they heard.

JADE GUITERA – “a picture is worth a thousand words!”

KHY YIE CHOO – “widened my horizons to the vast possibilities of leadership within the field of medicine”

Despite being held online, NLDS 2021 was truly an eye-opening experience! It was an incredible privilege to hear from doctors and leaders involved in leading Australia’s response for COVID-19, all of whom are inspiring examples of great science communicators. From learning about the importance of creating a self-narrative, to hearing A/Prof Melissa Kang talk about her insights as a medical consultant behind the ‘Dolly Doctor’ column, and learning about the intersection between legislation and medicine, these insights have undoubtedly enriched my thinking. In addition, keynotes from experts allowed me to gain valuable insights about how they overcame challenges to achieve success in their extraordinary career trajectories. Furthermore, practical skills on how to approach a problem as a leader, how to write more compelling applications, ways to approach a mentorship opportunity, and how to prepare for an important meeting are also some of my key takeaways from NLDS 2021. All in all, my experience at NLDS has definitely widened my horizons to the vast possibilities of leadership within the field of medicine. NLDS not only showcased inspiring examples of advocacy by doctors, but also allowed me to reflect on my personal leadership goals and gain skills that would make me a better doctor in future!

YAJAT DUA – “You don’t have to be the leader all the time and I love having arrived at that place where I can just pause and listen to others.”

Being at a conference about the role and importance of leadership in medicine, I must admit I was taken aback when Dr. Vijay Roach, president of the RANZCOG, said this in his talk. As he went on to unfold the importance of humility and the keys to effective communication, I realized that most talks that weekend had subverted my expectations in an exceptionally unique way – every distinct story the speakers told conveyed such meaningful and applicable lessons that made me reflect on my life thus far and prepare for the future ahead.

It was a privilege to hear from the current leaders of the medical field in Australia: people who’ve not only shifted paradigms but are also willing to set forth their failures, positions they’ve been rejected from, and how those key moments shaped their journey. From Professor Peter Doherty discussing the pandemic and its end to Dr. Jessica Dean talking about challenges in advocacy, to individualized project pitching masterclasses with Dr Renee Lim, each speaker highlighted the myriad of possibilities ahead.

I assumed shifting to a virtual conference would mean forgoing the social aspects of NLDS but once again, expectations subverted. All the delegates formed such an insightful and lively group of people who kept engagement at an all-time high – it was such a pleasure meeting everyone and forming lasting friendships.

The team at NLDS21 somehow managed to crack the code for subverting zoom fatigue in the day, and creatively crafting stellar social events in the night.

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