AMSA & IFMSA
The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) is the body recognized by the WHO as representing the voice of medical students around the world. It was established in 1951, and is comprised of 108 National Member Organizations (NMO) from 101 countries; AMSA is one of those NMOs.
“Our mission is to offer future physicians a comprehensive introduction to global health issues. Through our programming and opportunities, we develop culturally sensitive students of medicine, intent on influencing the trans-national inequalities that shape the health of our planet.”
The principle concept behind the Federation is to exchange people and ideas across different countries. The work is organized into six committees, similar to our own AMSA Action Committee structure – two for exchanges, four for projects. What this means for us as an NMO, is that AMSA collaborates with other countries on international efforts, and both sends and receives students for exchanges. It also means that we send delegations to the biannual General Assemblies, where delegates from around the world gather to form the IFMSA’s highest decision-making body.
Annually, around 10,000 medical students around the world participate in IFMSA’s exchanges – bilateral, equitable medical student exchanges between different countries. The Standing Committee on Professional Exchange (SCOPE) organizes one-month clinical experiences, which all AMSA medical members are eligible to participate in. Exchanges organized by the Standing Committee on Research Exchange (SCORE) are available to both medical and premedical members, and partners students with researchers in various biomedical fields for up to six months.
Are you interested in hosting students at your institution, or participating in an exchange? Find out more:
IFMSA’s programming is organized into four standing committees, each with their own leadership structure. This structure does not align perfectly with AMSA’s Action Committee structure, but all of the work we undertake falls under one of these four committees.
- SCOME: Standing Committee on Medical Education
- SCOPH: Standing Committee on Public Health
- SCORA: Standing Committee on Reproductive Health including AIDS
- SCORP: Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace
Projects from any NMO can become officially endorsed by IFMSA, representing an alignment with IFMSA’s vision; these projects are given a delegate allowance to represent their work at General Assemblies.
Are you involved in an effort in the United States that you would benefit from IFMSA’s endorsement? Would you like to establish connections with medical students working on similar issues in other countries? Contact the Secretary General at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NMOs send delegations to IFMSA’s General Assemblies (GA) twice a year, which occur every March and August. These GAs are one-week long meetings where presidents from various NMOs come together to form the primary voting body of the Federation, and leadership from the Standing Committees gather to carry out collaborative efforts. In addition to these organizational necessities, attendees are usually provided with opportunities for training and various programming related to the GA’s particular theme. The locations are decided by a bidding process, and these events are usually attended by 600-900 medical students from across the federation.
Next spring, we have the exceptional privilege of hosting our IFMSA colleagues in Washington DC for IFMSA’s March Meeting 2013. It will be the first time in decades that the United States will be hosting a General Assembly; it will overlap with AMSA’s National Convention, likely becoming the largest gathering of physicians-in-training in both of our organization’s histories.
You can find out more details at amsa.org/mm2013; if you are interested in assisting the Organizing Committee in making this an unprecedented event, contact our Chairs at email@example.com.