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PeMEx 2015 is the 8th medical exhibition organized by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya. The second media briefing for this event was held on August 19, 2015 (Wednesday) at the Faculty, chaired by the chairperson of the exhibition, Dr. Sampath Tennakoon, a senior lecturer of the Faculty.

The first Medical Exhibition in the country was held by this Faculty from a very short time as 3 years from its date of establishment

‘A tale of Medicine untold’ will be presented in 18 sub-themes, ranging from Medicine related to birth, childhood, adolescents, youth, adults, death and post-death incidents, on which grounds the prime goal is to concentrate on ‘prevention before cure’. The exhibition will deliver a message deviated from the usual concepts followed in medical exhibitions of merely delivering knowledge, but instead will openly lay a stage to discuss and deliver points related to sexual disorders, mental stress, matters arising during adolescent years etc, which are marks of social stigma. In addition topics such as the Non Communicable Diseases burden and Geriatrics commonly discussed at the international level have also been included. New trends in medicine, Surgery and Forensic medicine stalls will be among the attractions. A  Few stalls will be conducted by invited organizations which will add color to the exhibition such as the Dental Faculty, Sri Lanka Police – in relation to Road Traffic Accidents, Sumithrayo and WHO-country office.

The Dean of the Faculty, Prof. MDLamawansa briefed the assembly on the latest developments of the exhibition, commencing his speech with an interesting background to the event. He stated that this Faculty running back to a history of 52 years having established its grounds in 1962 owes to the most number of medical students passing out each year. He also emphasized on the international bonds maintained with students within the SAARC region with countries such as Bhutan and Maldives, Malaysia and few Western countries, in uplifting standards of Medicine as one global community.

With an essence of pride he stated that this Faculty has laboratories and lecture halls utilized by medical associates from students to Postgraduates nurtured under a brilliant bench of academics in collaboration with eminent consultants in Hospitals around. He also made it a point to mention that this faculty has produced the top rank graduates ranked in the common merit list, the 1st in the island being from this faculty for four consecutive years in the past five years. He added that the mere goal in bringing up standards of Medical Education is to produce better professionals in this arena of interest. Answering a common complaint made by the learned in the country, he stated that the faculty is ranked within the first 1,000 under international ranking measures based on research and related activities, a subject not given due attention in this country. (First in Sri Lankan rankings)

Moving his focus to the exhibition, the limelight of the conference, he pronounced that the ultimate objective is to deliver something to the general public out of this venture bringing about other instances where this objective has been of prime interest such as, Anatomy workshops held for A/L students during weekends, initiating the first Geriatric Medicine Unit in Kadugannawa Hospital in collaboration and certification of the Ministry of Health, opening a Post Graduate institute of Medicine – School of Advanced Medical Sciences (SAMS), etc.

Elaborating further on the 8th Medical Exhibition – PeMEx 2015, he enthusiastically stated that the first Medical Exhibition in the country was held by this Faculty from a very short time as 3 years from its date of establishment. He was delighted to note that the same academic staff, who was involved in the very first medical exhibition are on board this time too.

He stated that by tradition this is a quinquennial exhibition, although due to unavoidable circumstances the exhibition was not held strictly in every five years. He pointed out that with academic work of five batches going on simultaneously, it is a hassle to fix dates for an event of this nature, which is indeed a burden on the students who are going through a tough course. He noted that the students have been dedicated to make this event a success burning the midnight oil for the past 2-3 months. An event of this scale done through the collective effort of students, academic staff, non academic staff and consultants is a golden opportunity to render one’s duty to the society, to deliver knowledge to kith and kin and to contribute and be a part of an important event in the history of the faculty as a medical student under its roof.

He stated that though people refer to this stream of education as a narrow one confined to medicine, health and patients; that he has been witnessing students actively encountered in an array of involvements from corresponding with sponsors, to organizing and handling secretarial work of this event.

With the 1000 percent dedication of the students he concluded by stating that he hopes this will be a very successful event coinciding with the perahera season in Kandy.

(The writer is a second year Medical Student of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya.)