The IFMSA meetings have Standing Committee sessions every morning. I just left my Standing Committee on Public Health room. It is bustling with activity, people connecting, laughing, putting up posters, sharing ideas. and I found myself sitting on the edge of it today. It’s my third IFMSA meeting, and most of those I met at my first meeting have come and gone. Beyond friend-making, what are we here to accomplish at IFMSA? The organization itself has been struggling with this issue for years, unclear of its own mission and vision. It feels full of potential, gathering med students from 90 countries under one roof. But for the potential to be realized, what will it take? A focus, a purpose – beyond casual networking and socializing. We need a reason to buy into IFMSA.
A combination of IFMSA-Canada and IFMSA-Quebec (yep, we’re unfortunately separate) delegates are sitting across from me on a couch, pouring over the details of a migration and health policy paper we are jointly submitting to the IFMSA, CFMS and FMEQ. In comparison to most national delegations we have immense potential in Canada to build future health leaders. I think I often forget or underestimate our strength in this regard.