International Federation of Medical Students (IFMSA)

The International Federation of Medical Students' Associations (IFMSA) is a non governmental organization representing associations of medical students. It was funded in 1951, and currently maintains 102 National Member Organizations from 95 countries across six continents.

The mission statement of IFMSA reads, “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 main activities of IFMSA are student exchanges and different projects. Around 10’000 medical students each year participate in international medical student exchanges, both professional and academic (research). IFMSA organizes projects, programs, seminars and workshops on areas of public health, medical education, reproductive health and human rights and peace.

The aims of IFMSA are:

  • To be a forum for medical students throughout the world to discuss topics related to health, education and medicine;
  • To formulate policies from such discussions and to carry out appropriate activities
  • To promote humanitarian ideals and medical ethics amongst medical students
  • To act as a mechanism for medical students’ professional and scientific exchange and projects
  • To be a body through which cooperation and contacts with other international organizations are established
  • To act as a mechanism for member organizations to raise funds for projects recognized by the IFMSA

In 2011 the World Federation of Neurology signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the IFMSA. The purpose of this Memorandum was to define areas of possible collaboration between both organizations.

Amongst other things the Memorandum of Understanding acknowledges:

  • Professor Wolfgang Grisold chatting with a student at WCN 2011Up to two students might be invited to attend the World Congress of Neurology. The impressions and experience of their attendance will be published in a report on the WFN website.

    IFMSA WCN 2011 meeting report

  • The WFN offers potential support to the IFMSA Professional Exchange by intermittent review and approval of the Neurologic checklist, as basic requirements for a one-month clerkship in a department of neurology.

    Neurology Checklist