Students’ Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Association (SOMA) brings together students from different locations and institutions who are interested in musculoskeletal and orthopaedic health. We foster an inclusive and active culture of engagement with research, peer-to-peer support, teaching, and advocacy.
The group formed in mid-2019 when Cade Shadbolt, now SOMA’s secretary, highlighted the potential benefit of having a student group within the Department of Surgery at St Vincent’s. With students based at different locations, engaged in various distinct types of research, it was all too easy for students to fall out of touch with one another and feel isolated. This came to the fore the 2019 inaugural Students’ Orthopaedic Research Showcase (SORS) came around. The group was formed partly to promote this event and encourage participation among research students associated within the department. Since officially affiliating with the Graduate Student Association (GSA) in October 2019 with 9 members, SOMA now boasts 51 members comprising research students across the various institutions associated with OPUS, as well as students from different courses and disciplines within the University of Melbourne. We are also in the process of expanding our reach to OPUS members at other institutions, such as Curtin University in Western Australia.
We held our first monthly journal club on March 10th and we are looking forward to our first Research Methodology Workshop, which is part 1 of a two-part series of workshops on Systematic Review methodology. We are also planning to engage in fundraising activities, collaborate with other student groups, organise more methodology workshops and promote student participation in SORS 2020. While all of these exciting activities are certainly a high priority for the group, the underlying focus of SOMA is on connecting students with one another and functioning as an inclusive and welcoming network where members support one another and advocate for one another as they go about the challenging pursuit of graduate research.
- Daniel Gould – President: Melbourne Medical School’s first MD-PhD student.
- Cade Shadbolt – Secretary: MPhil student at OPUS, the Centre for Research Excellence in Total Joint Arthroplasty.
- Myles Davaris – Vice President: PhD candidate and junior doctor.
- Siddharth Rele – Treasurer: MD student completing his MDRP within OPUS.
- Penny O’Brien – Community Officer: PhD candidate and Qualitative Trials Coordinator in the Department of Surgery.
- Annabelle Choong – Social Media Officer: Honours student and research assistant within OPUS and the Department of Orthopaedics.
We encourage students from all walks of life and areas of expertise to join.
To sign up, please follow this link: https://forms.gle/vMPvSoAcJTKub27s8