Taking Steps Forward: Adopting a vision and mission

One may ask: why is that so important for IFMSA? The answer is quite simple. A clear vision gives us the strength to move forward, a mission pushes us to thrive in the international community. 

Over the past years, IFMSA has expended its priorities to include societal issues, such as climate change, universal health care, noncommunicable diseases, social determinants of health and many more to address those current issues that challenge achieving quality, accessible health for all. As our federation has been continuously evolving and growing since more than 62 years, its members felt it was time to take an internal review of the values, principles and objectives of the federation.

The story of IFMSA’s Vision Building began in the term 2011-12, when IFMSA’s leadership began exploring key questions about the direction that IFMSA should be striving for and as well how should IFMSA strive to achieve.  A small working group led by Roopa Dhatt, IFMSA VPE 2012/13 on Mission and Vision sparked momentum for the Federation to officially commit to this process.  (Past Blog– Moving Ahead IFMSA, What our members are saying?)

IFMSA members Vision Building

Through guidance, creativity and great dedication,  Claudel P-Desrosiers (IFMSA-Québec) led the IFMSA Task Force on Vision and Mission. They had a great challenge–to deliever a a new mission and vision for IFMSA by August Meeting 2013, while ensuring that all voices were included in its creation. “The journey wasn’t easy. The process had started in 2007 but no conclusion was reached until recently. It’s not simple to give a Federation something that truly represents the spirit, values and ideals of its 1.3 million members coming from 110 different countries. But with your help, your valuable input and your trust, we were able to make it a success. And I would like to sincerely thank you for that. We are extremely proud that this mission and vision reflect the voices of medical students worldwide, your voice.” -Claudel P-Desrosiers (IFMSA-Québec)

Mission and Vision Survey 2012/13

A world in which all medical students unite for global health and are equipped with the knowledge, skills and values to take on health leadership roles locally and globally.

IFMSA unites medical students worldwide to lead initiatives that impact positively the communities we serve. IFMSA represents the opinions and ideas of future health professionals in the field of global health, and works in collaboration with external partners. IFMSA builds capacity through training, project and exchange opportunities, while embracing cultural diversity so as to shape a sustainable and healthy future.

As we work to make this Federation reflect who we are and what we want to achieve, this newly adopted mission and vision statement provide us with a foundation to expand our impact and to shape the healthy world as we envision it.

August 5th was a memorable night in which the plenary has seized the opportunity to make IFMSA history and to do as the head of PAHO, Dr. Carissa Etienne, told us to do just a few days before: “it cannot be business as usual”.

We are very excited about our mission and vision, as the process of strengthening IFMSA has just been realized, the new few months and years will be very exciting for the Federation!

A special thanks to the the Task Force and those that contribute to the process.

Claudel P-Desrosiers (IFMSA-Québec), joint author of this post
Coordinator of the 2012-2013 Task Force on IFMSA Mission & Vision

Members of the Task Force: James Lawler (AMSA-Australia), Elizabeth Wiley (AMSA-USA), Khalid Almak (medsin-Sudan), Kimberly Williams (CFMS-Canada), Jason van Genderen (IFMSA-NL), Jelte Kelchtermans (BeMSA-belgium),  Thomas Adongo (MSAKE-Kenya), and Roopa Dhatt (IFMSA President).


President’s Message Term 2011/12

Dear Friends,

The term of 2011/12 marks an exciting year for us. Having just celebrated our 60th anniversary, has given us the chance to discover our rich history and glance back at the steps that laid the foundation of our federation.The dedication and work of past generations of physicians in training has formed our organization and made it to what it is today:– the world’s largest medical students’ network, providing medical students all over the world a platform for international collaboration.

Promoting and implementing change and innovation is often a long, enduring process requiring years of preparation and follow-up. The work that has been carried out in previous years has reached a critical point and today provides us with an immense momentum to take the next big leap in IFMSA. Now, we have the chance to translate this opportunity into concrete actions and measures to strengthen the ties of our federation and set a path for the future.

This years’ focus on development will be specifically in 4 areas:

1) ensure the voice of medical students is taken into account by increasing external visibility of the federation

2) improve accessibility of our organization by implementing standardized procedures

3) facilitate international collaboration by taking new ways in the use of technologies

4) support the work of our members worldwide by setting a special focus on regional support

The IFMSA strives towards providing an optimal environment for students to develop their ideas and to serve their communities by promoting and providing health for all. In order to reach this goal, we need to be open to development and willing to make the effort to take things one step further. It is this that has driven the growth of our federation and that has made our organization stand the test of time.

Today, it is up to us to form the future of the IFMSA. Together, I am sure, we are able to treasure the heritage that has been given to us and set the foundation for future generations of physicians in trainings and for the coming 60 years of the IFMSA.

Yours truly,
Christopher Pleyer
IFMSA President 2011/12