MONTRÉAL—“When you have more, you have to give more.”
That advice, from Québec's Chief Public Health Officer Horacio Arruda, aptly described his audience of medical students attending a health inequities forum at the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations general assembly.
More than 900 students from over 100 countries have gathered in Montréal to talk about advancing health far beyond their own communities—embodying the founding mission of IFMSA, established in 1951 after the end of World War II to serve as a platform for unity, collaboration and peace among medical students.
GHN was honored to attend IFMSA’s General Assembly in Montréal over the past few days and meet delegates from more than 100 countries. Highlights:
- IFMSA students think beyond the hospital: The theme of this year’s meeting was Social Accountability: Health Beyond the Hospital. They are working to embed challenges like climate change and human rights in medical education.
- Being green never looked easier: By offsetting more than 900 participants’ flights, and making many other planet-friendly choices, IFMSA declared the meeting carbon-neutral. Look for a future GHN article for more tips from their Green Director on how they pulled it off.
- They’re a riot: This was no staid, stuffy affair. IFMSA reps turned tasks as mundane as roll call into opportunities to express their cultural pride and personality, outdoing each other with increasingly elaborate cheers. Undaunted by poutine and lack of air conditioning at points, they worked hard, they stayed up very late, and they infused each session with verve and camaraderie.
- They approved a draft memorandum of understanding with GHN, to collaborate on areas of common interest
At the end of a rewarding weekend, GHN is happy to welcome new IFMSA subscribers from a long list of countries: the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Germany, Haiti, Honduras, Latvia, Malta, Morocco, Poland, Romania, The Netherlands, South Korea, Tunisia, and many more. Including, of course, ever-gracious Canada.
Thank you all for joining GHN! Don’t forget to share GHN’s free subscribe link with all your fellow students back home: https://www.globalhealthnow.org/subscribe