A week long dance with global health, diverse culture and sleep deprivation. Does it get any better than this?
Let me briefly orientate you – the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) is a federation with 119 member countries. Twice a year they get together to debate policy, discuss projects and share global best practice on advocacy and creating change. The bulk of these meetings include ‘UN-esque’ discussions, as well as focus groups on specific topics such as human rights and peace or public health projects. Sprinkled in are many student-led educational sessions, topped off with an icing of social nights that begin after midnight and continue well into the morning. Sleep is a disease cured with cheap coffee and adrenaline.
Naturally, these meetings are the most inspirational, exhausting and exhilarating events you will ever attend as a medical student. Period.
Highlights from our delegation were:
- The people. As anyone who has ever attended an Australian Global Health Conference will know – people who love global health are awesome. Fortunately this fact is not limited by border or culture; I challenge you to find one person at an IFMSA event who does not have an interesting story to share. It is incredible to hear first hand what goes on globally, and how hard those in our medical family are working to make the world a better place for everyone. Exciting, enthusiastic and inspirational!
- This was especially evident at the activities fair, where every country displayed some of it’s best and most successful global health projects. We showed off Code Green, our Climate Change and Health project and were successful in snagging first prize for the best project! Massive props to everyone who has been involved in building Code Green over the years for creating such a first-class, innovative project.
- Sharing in the diverse cultures. All you need to do is introduce yourself to someone new, but this diversity was especially evident at the cultural show and the national food and drink party. The cultural show was amazing; almost every country performed a dance/song/skit from their home country. Some were hilarious, some were crazy and all were very impressive. The national food and drink party was as you would expect: very loud and very tasty.
- Finally – on the last day we convinced the entire conference to dance the Hawaii 5-0 with us to protect us all from post-conference depression. Like convention, but better, because global 😉
Check out the video here:
A massive shout out to all of the Australian delegation and everyone who supported us. I still cannot quite believe it’s over and how EXCITED I AM FOR MEXICO IN AUGUST. These meetings are an incredible opportunity to explore global health, meet new people and make memories you’ll treasure for years. Keep an eye on the AMSA Global Health facebook page for the application package in the coming weeks. If you have any questions about the IFMSA and how you can get involved – chat to me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Get keen, get inspired, get global!