Capacity building does not merely support what we do. It is what we do. Every single activity in IFMSA aims to empower medical students from around the world to be agents of positive change in their communities. It is in our projects, our trainings, our activities, our campaigns and our workshops that the magic happens.
During IFMSA Meetings, General Assemblies, congresses, and conferences, members have the opportunity to be trained in many different areas. Capacity building allow us to empower our members and find innovative ways to let their voices be heard in order to facilitate their roles as agents of change at the local and international level. Our capacity building efforts offer an engaging opportunity to empower members with the skills and confidence they need to efficiently carry out the tasks required in each of the different standing committees and other relevant activities. This concrete and hands-on approach has strengthened sentiments of common ownership among members, and as allowed IFMSA to grow as an organization.
Peer-education is at the heart of IFMSA capacity building efforts, and as such, programs and opportunities have been put in place to ensure that medical students are able to strengthen their own skills by giving back to their peers. Most of the topics integrated in the training division aren’t discussed and/or taught in medical schools, and as such, allow medical students to further develop set of skills and abilities often required in the professional life of any healthcare worker.
For instance, an important part of the IFMSA capacity building program are the Training New Trainers workshops (TNT). During this three-day workshops, medical students are trained to become trainers themselves. To ensure continuity and to keep trainers motivated, the Training Old Trainers workshops (TOT) have also been established. More recently, some Training of Experienced Trainers (TET) workshops have also been put in place, which are oriented on even more specific skills based on the needs of regions and of the medical students.
Some examples of the training topics provided by the IFMSA are: Advocacy, Communication Skills, Conflict Prevention, Debating Skills, Facilitation Skills, Financial Management, Fundraising, Handover and Continuity, Intercultural Learning, Leadership, Motivation Skills,; Negotiation Skills, Project Management, Public Relations and Marketing, Time Management.