Dear AMEE Community,

I hope that you are in good health and the Autumn term has started smoothly. For me these past weeks have been very exciting as the just nominated 2023 Conference Programme Chair. As a passionate AMEE member, this is a great honour for me, and I am looking forward to this challenge.
The 2023 conference will be my twentieth AMEE, the first one was in Lisbon 2002. I remember my first conference - I was a novice teacher and had just finished my basic pedagogical studies. Everything was new to me, and I remember being fascinated about everything. Those days might be forgotten, but I can see my young self in the faces of new colleagues. In Lyon this year, one of them sent a question to our WhatsApp group asking for recommendations. Again, that was a good reminder for me what it was to be a first timer in an international congress. 

I always tell my colleagues that the AMEE conference is like a market or a bazaar - there is something for every taste and you never know what is behind the corner. When I was young, I had two tactics - the first one was to plan my visit very carefully and focus on a track I was most interested in. The other one was like a lottery, I just picked up sessions on topics that were new to me. It is hard for me to say which one was the better, because they both were very successful. 

In the early years, I tried to stuff myself with as much knowledge as I could and then reflected on it for months, trying to get as much out of it as possible. In the past few years, the focus of my attention has shifted from knowledge acquisition to the delight of meeting old friends. As a frequent attendee, you end up meeting people interested in similar issues, and gradually you start seeing them as friends. Today it takes me a long time to walk through the exhibition, there are so many acquaintances from past years!  

For 2023, I feel very happy to travel to Glasgow again, I have so many happy memories. It was in Glasgow that I was appointed as an AFAMEE, and I felt so proud when I went to get my pin and the diploma. It was in there I heard that the 2017 conference would be in Helsinki. I was one of the first to hear it, and then I started running around the conference center and telling this great piece of news to my Finnish colleagues! My memories of Glasgow...the poems of Robert Burns were nice, haggis was quite delicious, and the opening ceremony was the best I have ever attended, thanks to Red Hot Chili Pipers. 

After a pandemic it is time for fresh ideas. We know how to construct a traditional and a virtual event. However, AMEE is more than a congress; it is a learning community of experts. The great AMEE spirit will be there in Glasgow to welcome you with many new insights, perspectives, applicable new ideas. 

I am looking forward to meeting you in Glasgow!

AMEE will be appointing a Deputy Programme Chair in January 2023 and the successful applicant will then go on to become Chair of the AMEE 2024 Conference Programme.  

Expressions of interest in this role are welcomed – please email [email protected] to find out more.

Leila Niema-Murola
Senior Consultant and Clinical Lecturer
University Of Helsinki
Programme Chair - AMEE 2023