Dear IFMSA Family,
Not long ago, over 800 young health leaders from all around the world gathered in Rwanda to discuss a diversity of global health issues, learn new skills, gain exceptional experiences and make the most critical decisions for our Federation and its future. We parted ways in high spirits after experiencing this unforgettable and unique adventure.. Sadly, this feeling was short-lived as the looming threat of the COVID-19 pandemic became inevitably true. The effects of this pandemic were immediate. Our daily lives, plans, and dreams have all been put on hold as our governments implemented various measures to contain the outbreak. The months that followed demonstrated what a united world can accomplish through urgent action and global solidarity. Initiatives sprung from all corners of the world to help those who are most vulnerable and affected by this imperative reality we all found ourselves in.
We as well did not falter. We quickly adapted to this global health emergency… The ceaseless years and efforts focused on capacity building aimed towards equipping medical students with the knowledge, skills, and values to take on health leadership roles on a local and global level proved their worth. The members of IFMSA effectively-identified where and how they could help, showing their proficient ability to tackle this far-reaching challenge. Learning about the successful projects and awe-inspiring initiatives across the globe by our members warmed our hearts and motivated us to take on this challenging pandemic and show the world what IFMSA can do.
IFMSA General Assemblies represent the highlights of every term, the pinnacle of our work, and continuous motivation to work towards the vision of IFMSA. Each meeting is filled with the unique sharing of funny, inspiring, and unforgettable memories; sharing of a diversity of opinions about upcoming discussions and decisions to be made; anxiousness to reconnect with dear friends as well as making new friendships. Words can not describe how extraordinary that 5-day journey is. It is only when we are under the same sky and walking in the same halls that IFMSA is able to unlock our true potential.
Canceling the 69th IFMSA General Assembly August Meeting in Panama was one of the most difficult decisions that needed to be made. Throughout the year, we already work at a distance, looking at screens, texts, emails and all the other virtual spaces modern technology provides us with. COVID-19 pandemic has maybe denied us that unique opportunity to connect, meet new people, and make new friendships and memories, but only in the way we have done it for years.
The marvels of modern technology have now given us the chance to challenge the situation we are in and to look at this obstacle as one that we can overcome. In the months following the announcement of cancellation of the physical meeting, we have been working day-and-night to provide our IFMSA members with the next best thing: the Online 69th General Assembly August Meeting 2020.
We have prepared for all NMO members a uniquely diverse mix of open access and closed, more interactive sessions for particular global health topics. Be ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience as we bring the decision-making processes of IFMSA to your home for the first time in the history of our Federation.
Now it’s up to you to join us and shape a very special Online General Assembly, proving yet again the relentless capabilities of IFMSA and its hard-working members. Our impact should never stop not on ourselves, nor on the world.
IFMSA President 2019-2020