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Australian medical organisations

AMSA, AMA, MSC…. What does it all mean?

by , 29 April, 2016
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As you enter medical school, you are bound to be harassed with a huge amount of acronyms that you will have absolutely no idea what they mean. In this blog today, we will take a look at a few representational organisations that will be important in your medical studies (and beyond!), AMSA, the AMA, and MSCs. This will also hopefully lessen the burden of acronyms you will know nothing about, if only slightly.

AMSA stands for the Australian Medical Student Association. AMSA is the peak representative body for medical students across Australia, and they often engage in discussions with relevant government and non-government organisations on topics that are important for medical students. They lobby on issues relating to internships, medical student health, and the curriculum, along with other socially important areas such as LGBT/general equality and refugee policy. Besides their advocacy work, AMSA also host great, national academic and social events, which every medical student should experience at some point in their studies. I began getting involved with AMSA in my first year, and it has truly been a rewarding experience throughout my studies.

The AMA (Australian Medical Association) is an acronym that most of you will be familiar with. For a brief summary, it is basically ‘AMSA for doctors’. Medical students can join the AMA as a student member, which I would highly recommend doing. This will get you a subscription to the AMA publication in your State, and the ability to be involved with their mentoring program – I got an Emeritus Professor in Surgery for my mentor, and there are many profoundly excellent doctors in this program, so get involved!

Finally, MSCs stand for Medical Student Councils. The MSCs are a relatively new occurrence, having only been established in the past few years. They are basically an intermediary body between your local medical student society and AMSA, they are State-wide representatives. They were formed to give greater legitimacy and strength to State-wide issues that medical schools wanted to advocate on. MSCs also hold great social and academic events throughout the year, and are worthwhile being involved with.

Although just a very short introduction to the world of acronyms that await you in medical school, I hope this has somewhat been useful! I really wanted to highlight these organisations, as many medical students miss out (completely to their own detriment), and only find out about them in their final years of study. Get involved!