Students’ Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Association (SOMA) is a University of Melbourne Graduate Student Association (GSA), and is affiliated with OPUS and the University of Melbourne’s Department of Surgery.
SOMA brings together students from different locations and institutions who are interested in musculoskeletal and orthopaedic health. They 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, 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. With the 2019 inaugural Students’ Orthopaedic Research Showcase (SORS)on the horizon, the creation of SOMA was fast-tracked so as to promote the event and encourage participation among research students associated within the department. Since officially affiliating with the Graduate Student Association (GSA) in October 2019, SOMA has grown from 9 to 51 members. The association is comprised of research students across various institutions associated with OPUS, as well as students from different courses and disciplines within the University of Melbourne. They are also in the process of expanding theirreach to OPUS members at other institutions, such as Curtin University in Western Australia.
SOMA holds monthly journal clubs and research methodology workshops. They also plan 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
- 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 assisstant for 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