IFMSA August Meeting 2019 | Taipei, Taiwan
From August 1 to August 7, 2019, the 68th General Assembly of IFMSA – International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations took place in Taipei, Taiwan. Eight active HelMSIC members, traveled to Taiwan, representing the Medical Students of Greece at the largest Medical Students’ Meeting, where important discussions and decisions were made for the future of the Confederation.
IFMSA is the largest international organization representing Medical Students worldwide and aims to bring them together and work together regardless of race, economic status, religion, sexuality, gender identity and political beliefs. IFMSA is active in six fields of action: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV/AIDS, Public Health, Human Rights & Peace, Medical Education, Professional and Research Exchanges.
Two General Assemblies are held each year, one in March and one in August (March & August Meeting, respectively), attended by more than 1000 Medical Students from all over the world, with common goals and vision.
An IFMSA General Assembly consists of the following 6 components: Plenaries, Sessions, Trainings, Theme Event, Activities Fair and Contracts Fair.
At the Plenaries, key issues were voted on, such as amendments on IFMSA’s Bylaws and Constitution and the adoption of next year’s Budget, as well as the members of the next Team of Officials and the countries that would be new members of IFMSA.
Nefeli: “This is the moment when you understand the true scope of the General Assembly, looking at all the presidents from about 100 countries and the rest of each country’s delegation. You realize that eventually there are many people with the same vision and the same lust for work with you, which empowers you to keep working for a better world!”
At the same time apart from the administrative parts of the meeting, delegates participated in the sessions on the IFMSA’s six Standing Committees and addressed sensitive social issues but also decided on actions for each sector separately.
Konstantina: “Education, creativity, discussion, exchange of views on issues that concern us all but with perspectives from every corner of the world, give you the motivation and inspiration to try more for the actions in your country as you see them having international impact.”
Trainings provide opportunities for acquiring practical skills and soft skills.
Emmanuela: “The topic of the training I attended was members’ engagement and it struck me how common problems the delegates can be facing across countries all around the world and how differently they are in dealing with the problem.”
The Theme Event includes science lectures and experiential activities on a current Health Issue. This time the topic was “Science, technology & innovation for sustainable health care”.
Evi: “” We need to improve the understanding ability and learn the importance of self reflection. The key is communication. Everyone can be the change leaders and the technology is not the center, instead the patient is. Medicine care should be about the patient, with the patient and for the patient”. – Janusz Janczukowicz (Theme Event Speaker) “.
Of course, this General Assembly could not miss an Activities Fair, during which each NMO presents some of the most important programs they organize. HelMSIC’s delegation was actively involved and presented “SHARE – Sexual Education for Young People” and “Summer School – Preparation for the Rural Practice”, which received very good comments from observers and program critics.
Theofanis: “Different ideas, different countries, different cultures, same passion, same inspiration and same desire to do more as medical students.”
The most notable, perhaps, part of an August General Assembly, but also a focal point for Exchanges, is Contracts Fair. In this, 4 people from each delegation: the two National Officers (National Exchanges Officer, National Officer on Research Exchanges) and their 2 assistants, gather and sign next year’s contracts for Professional and Research Exchanges 2019/2020. Another year of quality partnerships with many countries from every continent and beautiful moments for many medical students from all over the world, who will seize this opportunity. HelMSIC’s exchange team is coming back with a lot of inspiration, energy and appetite for the coming year.
Klio: “It is unique how exchange teams around the world strive to ensure, through negotiations best deals for next year’s contracts, the best for exchanges in their country“.
An IFMSA General Assembly is a unique experience. Interacting with Medical Students from around the world, getting to know different cultures, discussing global health issues and medical education, cultivating your skills, getting excited, becoming aware, having ideas, sharing ideas, 7 days are enough to create wonderful memories with people from every corner of the world and, of course, with your companions on this journey, the rest of the mission!
The 69th IFMSA General Assembly will be held in Rwanda in March 2020!