2020 TUMSS President Address

18 Feb 2020

Congratulations and welcome to the medical profession! Although this is just the onset of your journey, doors will start opening fast! From Gunbalanya for the John Flynn Placement Program to the Netherlands for an Honours research year to Iceland for an elective… A medical degree at UTAS has the potential to serve as a global career launchpad. Stay curious, confident, and keep your eyes open! Although perhaps daunting, I can assure you that this is such an exciting adventure, and you are in the best company. Some of the friendships and memories you will make will undoubtedly last a lifetime.


My name is Brittany Kay. I am a fourth-year medical student at the Hobart Clinical School, and this year, am the President of the Tasmanian University Medical Students’ Society (TUMSS). Since 1965, TUMSS has represented all Tasmanian medical students, irrespective of where you have travelled from, or where you plan to work eventually. TUMSS is one of the largest student societies at UTAS. Not only do we organise amazing academic events and stellar social nights, but we also liaise with the School of Medicine (SoM) and the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), advocating on your behalf.


The AMA is the professional association for Australian doctors and medical students. The AMA has state branches and committees, working to protect and promote the political, legal and industrial interests of medical professionals. The AMA serves as our principal lobbying body, working with governments to maintain quality healthcare while challenging potentially harmful policies. The AMA also fosters communication between the medical and broader community. 


AMA Tasmania has been significant support of TUMSS for many years now – through means of sponsorship, leadership development, collaboration and advocacy. The AMA recognises that we students are the future of medicine, and defends us on essential matters. Recent lobbying issues have included: bullying and harassment in the workplace, increasing internship places, and increasing funding for specialist training positions. My role as the AMA representative of TUMSS is to represent you at state AMA meetings – to give the AMA feedback on issues affecting Tasmanian medical students, and allow the AMA an avenue to approach the student cohort. Please talk to your TUMSS year reps, chat with me directly, or shoot me an email at president@tumss.org.au, should you have any issues or views that you want voicing. I urge all of you to become student members of the AMA (completely free!)


There is also a fair bit of student activity and advocacy on the mainland! TUMSS is one of 22 medical student societies (aka ‘MedSox’) that are represented by the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA). AMSA volunteers formulate policies, meet with politicians, advocate for Australia’s 17,000 medical students, and have several nationwide, annual projects.


Additionally, AMSA organises several events, including the National Leadership Development Seminar (NLDS), Global Health Conference (GHC), and Rural Health Summit (RHS). A lot of acronyms! AMSA’s flagship event – the National Convention (the largest student-run conference in the world!) – is being held in Melbourne in late June. Up to 1,000 medical students from across Australia will attend this week-long event, packed with academic days and social nights. I have attended Convention for four consecutive years (!), and continue to keep in contact with the friends I have made – some of whom are now working as successful young doctors! I am grateful for these connections, which often serve as amazing avenues for academic and employment-related advice. If nothing else, however, these events are a source of great fun!


As you will soon discover, we have an incredibly close-knit and active medical student community. Our door is always open – we will be your helping hand whenever you need it, your listening ear for any concerns, and your biggest supporters for any achievements. If you have any problems throughout the year, you can raise it with your year group representatives, or speak directly with any TUMSS committee member. Although we have a few more wrinkles and eye bags now, we were all in your position not too long ago! We are always willing to have a chat and share all the advice we can.


Once again, congratulations. I am excited, honoured, and humbled to welcome you to your medical studies at UTAS. Our TUMSS committee look forward to meeting you all at orientation week!


Best wishes,

Brittany Kay



Tasmanian University Medical Students’ Society | TUMSS