As the new President of the PeMSAA-UK, I welcome all our members, alumni and well-wishers of the Faculty of Medicine, Peradeniya. I am looking forward to working with the dynamic Committee I have to help the students of the Faculty.
When I entered the Second Medical School, Peradeniya as it was known then, it was a mere collection of temporary buildings. This was in stark contrast to the majestic buildings of the Faculties of Science and Arts. But the calibre of the teachers was outstanding and excellent and innovative teaching was the result. The enthusiasm of the students was second to none. It is very gratifying to see how the Faculty has developed with permanent buildings now and the achievements of the alumni.
The outgoing President Dr. Krish Radhakrishnan together with the Management Committee has done a superb job setting up this Association and developing ways of helping the students and responding to appeals for help when needed. My heartfelt congratulations go to all of them.
COVID-19 raised its ugly head and PeMSAA-UK also suffered as many other voluntary organizations did. Our fund-raising activities grounded to a halt. But in spite of this, we have managed to honour our commitments.
As the President, I intend to continue with the projects already initiated. These are:
• The PEMSAA academic awards for the undergraduates and the postgraduates
• Awarding of scholarships and bursaries
• Provision of the Journal of International Medicine and Surgery
• Mentoring support to the alumni arriving in the UK
At present, we are in the process of providing textbooks for the library following a request from Prof. Channa Ratnatunga and the librarian. Thanks to generous donations from alumni and well-wishers, we have managed to purchase most of the books. The book list is on the website for your perusal and any donations are welcome.
We intend to continue with our webinar series and the next webinar will be in February 2022. We value your attendance and feedback on these.
As the country is returning towards ‘normality’, we are planning a Spring Event on 5th March 2022. This promises to be a fun-filled event and will also help with fund-raising. Therefore, please keep the date free and we would love to see as many of you as possible at the event.
The details of the webinar and the Spring Event are on our website.
The membership of an organization is its backbone. I am passionate about increasing our membership. There must be many more alumni in the UK who are not members of PeMSAA. Please encourage them to join to help our alma mater and its students and graduates in furthering their careers.
As the President, I intend to do my best to further develop this fledgling Association and hope that all of you will help and support me and the Committee in the future.
Dr. Padma Samarawickrama
MBBS, MRCP (UK)