The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) was founded in 1951 as an organization of the medical students, for the medical students, and by the medical students. For more than 60 years, IFMSA was led and run by medical students worldwide. The Federation has not only been a dynamic platform of opportunities for the future physicians but has also served as their voice at the international level.
IFMSA is the worlds oldest and largest independent organization representing associations of medical students internationally. It currently maintains 124 National Member Organizations from more than 115 countries across six continents with over one million students represented worldwide. IFMSA is recognized as a non-governmental organization within the United Nations system and the World Health Organization and as well, it works with the World Medical Association.
IFMSA was created to impact the world and to empower its members in taking their vision and ideas, and making them a reality. IFMSA has inspired generations of medical students to develop the leadership abilities and skills to take on challenges and to improve the world around them in an early yet crucial period of their career. Engaging in IFMSA encourages both professional and personal collaborations irrespective of geographical, social, cultural, religious, racial, sexual and political differences. As a result, future doctors are becoming more culturally aware and sensitive physicians.
The IFMSA experience shows students that they are not merely passive subjects in a rapidly globalizing world but rather valuable individuals with a potentially powerful role to play in global health. IFMSA hence offers medical students a taste of the real and pressing health issues worldwide, and help them learn that their idealistic goals can be achieved with readily attainable knowledge and commitment.
In IFMSA, the emphasis is placed on students returning to their local environments with new ideas and the skills to implement them. As the doctors of tomorrow and future leaders of health, we feel confident that our students will carry this spirit with them throughout their professional lives so that they positively impact the communities they serve.
In 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the World Health Students’ Alliance (WHSA), which consists of The International Association of Dental Students (IADS), The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), The International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), and The International Veterinary Student Association (IVSA). This MoU defines the framework and commitment to joint advocacy of health related matters on behalf of healthcare students worldwide. Since then, we have been working together on various projects and events related to One Health.