FLOSS, Ms Mayara
Brazil - Rural FM café innovator
Mayara Floss is a medical student from Brazil, who is committed to rural family medicine and is the driving force behind the new Rural Family Medicine Café initiative.
What work do you do currently?
Now I am completing my studies in Brazil to be a doctor and hopefully soon do my residence in Family Medicine.
I did my undergraduate fellowship in Ireland through the Brazilian Government Programme ‘Science Without Borders’, in 2014-15, and there I experienced rural general practice (see more
) and I got more interested in rural Family Medicine. Since then I have been trying to develop some actions to discuss and raise the awareness of rural care in my university and around.
You are a medical student - why did you do medicine and what do you hope for your future?
Firstly, I choose medicine because I got mesmerized with the idea of caring people. I decided to keep doing medicine because I think I could construct a better world with what I am learning (mainly with the patients). I have learnt that entering peoples’ houses and listening to them and maybe by them listening to me, is a powerful way of empowering, struggling and trying to make life a little better.
For the future, I hope we can change (in a good way). I hope we can guarantee fundamental rights – de-commodifying the right to health, and having and doing health for all. I hope we can help less and empower more – overcoming the idea of dominating. I hope that any "developing country" can manage themselves in their own culture and way and that other countries will empower us - maybe by just exchanging experiences and not doing things in our place. Also, I hope that the economy works for people and not people work for the economy. I hope we can listen more to our patients who might then educate us simultaneously in a learning process.
Finally, I hope we can finally change and do not just turn a bit.
What is it like to be a future family doctor in Brazil?
As for the entire world, we are struggling to balance biomedical knowledge and humanity in medicine. Also, primary care is not recognized by other specialties as much it should be. It is possible that as a student or even a doctor you will suffer prejudice because you choose primary care – I have already suffered because I choose it. However, I think we have a good network of family doctors to support each other and try to change it. It is a matter of time before consciousness is aroused. In Brazil, we have a lot of differences different cultures and diversity; I believe that to deal with these differences with competence is a great challenge in being a doctor here.
What other interesting activities have you been involved in?
In 2010, some colleagues and I created a project to work in communities based on popular education called the “Health Education League” (see more
Some health professionals from all around Brazil, as well as me, created a space for medicine and arts where we wrote poems, chronicles, texts and undertook other arts. The project is called “Rua Balsa das 10
”. I blogged every week bringing the daily reflections of being a student.
During my studies in Ireland, I decided to do a series of short movies talking about the Brazilian Health System so with some friends we organized the “Série SUS” (in English: “SUS Series” – see more
). It is a whiteboard animation with the aim to inform and empower Brazilian citizens.
Finally, in October of last year I organized the First Rural FM Café (see more
), and already, a lot of GPs and students are getting involved in the development of this project.
Can you tell me about the rural FM Café?
With my reality being a university in an urban area, I needed to maintain the energy and fulfillment that the rural practice gave to me. After the WONCA Rural Conference in Dubrovnik last year and with some new Young GPs and other students I put forward the idea to create an informal conversation about some themes in Rural Practice and Family Medicine in general. This became the “Rural Family Medicine Café” with an atmosphere of a “café” we discuss themes, give ideas, listen and exchange. It is a way to strength Rural Family Medicine and networking.
There have now been five rural cafés and each time after the café Mayara posts on the WONCA Working Party for Rural Practice Google group and those who missed the café can find them on Youtube.
Check out the next event on facebook events