Greetings from Sri Lanka!
I am delighted and honoured to send this message to PeMSAA Australia Chapter as the President of the PeMSAA parent body.
These alumni associations provide us a channel for connecting alumni, allowing us to share our experiences, challenges, opportunities, programs, outcomes and provide a structure and process for the invaluable inputs of our esteemed members. We are passing the 27th year after the institution of the PeMSAA in 1992, and I take this opportunity to enlighten you about the aptitude, challenges, and agenda of our parent association and the important challenges we face.
The newly structured council has taken the oath to lead the effort to focus on many aspects, and engage in interactive discussions and engagements that would be beneficial.
The mission for our tenure was identified as improving the bond between the alumni, the organization and the students while maintaining the vision and the mission of the organization.
We currently observe a lesser number of new members joining our association and this concern needs to be addressed as a priority.
The maintenance of a prudent membership had been a question for many years.
As a measure to have a robust program to drive the membership, we have now settled to offer associate membership granted to students to be upgraded to full membership once they qualify. This will enable us to provide career guidance to them as well. It was decided that each year, the newly graduated students will be warmly received as the new batch of prospective alumni with a welcome luncheon hosted with the participation of the staff and the council. Further, we plan to continue this as a regular calendar event.
As an encouragement to the recruitment of new members, we intend to build a thriving alumni community by launching a regional representative as co-opted members, whilst taking measures to improve the online community by organizing mini-chapters for each batch with a representative to update the major events, achievements and meetings.
Alumni is also an effective role model and can be easily accepted by students. With the return of the alumni to support the faculty, they bring with them credibility and justification as part of a successful faculty, having breathed the same air and encountering similar challenges faced by the students. This will improve the reputation of the faculty with the significance of nationally and internationally. If we let the students come to know the Experiences of alumni as students and thereafter whether in time management, financial management, development of self-discipline and character, career management, they can be more easily accepted as guidance and inspiration by students. Through this modality, the alumni can assist in strengthening confidence, improve motivation and inculcate the right culture to our students. Also, Alumni can support the students by mentoring them on career opportunities, provide expertise and can contribute in an advisory capacity.
More stable Alumni from the economic perspective can help to reduce the financial burden of underprivileged students. We encourage a greater collection of funds enabling the establishment of scholarships, supporting students’ activities, assisting in the establishment of infrastructure and support innovative improvements at the faculty. For this, we have identified a bursary system and foster parent system in addition to the existing studentship scheme.
To attract young alumni, a Young Alumni Advisory Board will be constituted to decide on future directions as suggested and the involvement of our sister organisations will be sought for this too.
We are happy to witness that the PeMSAA sister branches have also pledged to assist the Faculty of Medicine, not only undergraduate students but also the postgraduate trainees with their training and education. We hope to maintain a registry of overseas placements and links to PGs with a network. Alumni can be a reference for the faculty concerned in the needs of the graduates in obtaining work in selected fields.
Our undergraduate educational program has been outstanding, gifting us the incomparable honor of achieving the island first place from the common merit list for the last 5 consecutive years, and having the first three places with the year 2018 MBBS in the island. However, the faculty is surviving in a very competitive environment and face many complicated issues. The exponential increase in the number of students, expanded academic programs, together with the limited resources to support our aspirations, showing us stronger and deeper pools. We are now in a position to address some important concerns that have been deferred previously, and we are capable of building on some of our traditional strengths as we work to provide a rich and stimulating program to our students.
While extending my sincere gratitude to the members of the PeMSAA- Australia for their commitment, support and harmony to endorse our alumni association, I’m confident that you will definitely join hands with us to fulfill the objectives lined up for the years to come.
Let us all assist our country and others around the world with our heartfelt duty and hold hands to participate in the improvement of medical methods and practices..
Professor Vasanthi Pinto
President PeMSAA 2019-2020
Professor of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care , Faculty of Medicine
University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
E mail; firstname.lastname@example.org, +94 773662199
Correspondences : Please contact
Peradeniya Medical School Alumni Association,
University of Peradeniya , Peradeniya, Sri Lanka