My experience at the European Dental Student Association general meeting

My experience at the European Dental Student Association general meeting

Fourth year dental student Ramin Torkizadeh talks us through his experience at this year’s European Dental Student Association (EDSA) general meeting.

I’m Ramin Torkizadeh, a fourth year dental student at Liverpool University, and I had the incredible privilege of being the EDSA Liverpool president for the 72nd general meeting held this summer.

As I reflect on this experience, I can’t help but share the whirlwind adventure of planning, hosting, and participating in this remarkable event.

For most, the summer break is a time for family, travel, and catching up with friends. However, for a select few, including myself, it meant a different kind of summer. This year, my summer and whole academic year was devoted to organising and overseeing the 72nd EDSA General Meeting at Liverpool University.

What is the EDSA?

The European Dental Student Association (EDSA) is a platform that represents over 70,000 dental students across 34 countries in the WHO European Region. EDSA hosts two general meetings annually – one in spring and one in summer.

This year, we were proud to host the summer meeting in Liverpool, alongside a dedicated Local Organising Committee (LOC) composed of Mahan Jabbari, Eugene Chen, Rosha Mobasher, Hannah Mcgrath, Julia Coatesworth, and Johnathan Cameron. Together, we welcomed more than 120 participants from 33 countries to Liverpool from 20 August to 25 August 2023.

The planning for this event was nothing short of intense. My team and I had to coordinate hotels, workshops, and sponsors, working closely with the EDSA board to create a packed schedule. Despite the occasional stress, there were many highs, with the Gala night being a standout – a testament to our organisational prowess.

What made this meeting even more special was its coincidence with the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE) event, which ran from 23 August to 25 August 2023. We seamlessly integrated our activities with ADEE, sharing a delightful evening at the Museum of Liverpool. Moreover, a select few, including myself, had the privilege of speaking at various intervals during the ADEE event.

The EDSA conference itself was a blend of discussions, debates, and project meetings, focusing on the future of EDSA, upcoming conference locations, and the election of new board members. The discussions were not only exciting but also productive, thanks to the meticulous planning by the previous EDSA board, led by Marta Adam.

Culturally enriching

During our time hosting the event, we took our delegates on a journey around Liverpool. We visited our university campus, explored iconic landmarks like Liverpool One and the Royal Albert Docks, and indulged in the city’s vibrant nightlife, including a few Irish pubs, the iconic concert square, and Mathew Street, home to the legendary Cavern Club.

Football enthusiasts among us even made a pilgrimage to Anfield, one of Liverpool’s greatest attractions.

The experience was surreal and culturally enriching. It allowed my team and me to learn about diverse European cultures while also sharing insights about our beloved Liverpool. It was my first experience in such a significant leadership role and the lessons learned were invaluable. I honed my communication skills, navigated a political environment, improved teamwork, delegation, and motivation skills, and reinforced my belief that a happy environment is a productive one – a philosophy that guided us throughout.

The strength of our team was undeniable. Without them, the conference wouldn’t have been as successful as it was. Every social event was electrifying, with the grand finale at the Spine featuring great food, drinks, saxophone music, and endless fun.


This event was undoubtedly challenging, but as they say, the best things in life never come easy. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to several individuals who supported me throughout this journey.

Marta Adam, from the EDSA old board, provided invaluable guidance, even inviting me over to Zagreb earlier this year to show me what conference organisation entails.

Denis Murphy of ADEE was a constant source of assistance, and Professor Quinn from the University of Liverpool played a significant role in ensuring a smooth event.

I must also thank Professor Vince Bissell, the dean of the University of Liverpool School of Dentistry, who supported me from start to finish, even granting me leave and funding to attend a crucial event in Zagreb which inspired me to create a fantastic event in Liverpool this summer.

Dr Joshua Kennedy, the former BDSA President, was instrumental in planning, despite his busy schedule, and our sponsors deserve a special mention for making this meeting possible.

I would also like to extend my thank you to the new EDSA president Deniz Naz Bilgic (Turkey) and the new General secretary Charlotte Carter (France) who provided invaluable experience and insight, helping us navigate our way through challenging obstacles. I would like to wish both of them great success for the future of EDSA, I am sure they will do a smashing Job!

As for what’s next, well, I’m afraid a magician never reveals their secrets. All I can say is, sit tight and watch this space.

This year, as a fourth year student, I’m raring to go. And for EDSA, the next meeting is set to take place in Bucharest in April – an event I’m sure will be nothing short of fantastic!

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