After years of multidisciplinary activities including both medical and non medical studies where I have acquired different social and professional skills and where I have enriched my knowledge about healthcare and its different challenges including the field of Medical Education, it was with a great motivation and enthusiasm that I presented my candidature to become an intern in the WFME-IFMSA program for the period of April-June 2018.
This opportunity was for me a second to none chance not only to get closer to attaining one of the goals I have always aspired to achieve, that is of making a difference in people’s lives and promoting their right to the highest attainable standard of health and education, but also to become familiar with the history and work of the WFME as the leading institution of such an impact on Medical Education worldwide and thus on Global Health.
As a matter of fact, since the first weeks of work as an IFMSA intern at the WFME office in Ferney-Voltaire in France, a huge part of those expectations had been met as I closely assisted the shared management and development of the medical school records hosted within the Word Directory of Medical Schools in order to enhance both the visibility and the quality of information about Medical Education programs around the globe.
Furthermore, thanks to my previous IFMSA experiences that strengthened my ability to produce results within deadlines along the past 6 years, not only was I able to finish within just one month the main task I was given: updating the informations related to medical schools in my region (EMR), but I also successfully managed to cover over 70 countries within other regions including all medical schools in native English speaking countries.
Not to mention the privilege I had when I met the WFME president Pr. David Gordon with whom I discussed the NGO current priorities and challenges along with its history and achievements which then enabled me to take the initiative of getting more involved by suggesting and drafting potential IFMSA-WFME joint plans of action for 2 agenda points in the WFME Executive Council Meeting that took place by the start of May 2018:
- The Exploitation of Medical Students and Young Doctors
- WFME Regional Capacity Building in relation to IFMSA
Moreover, this internship allowed me to both enlarge my network and to interact with members from other international organizations, such as the WHO interns and officials, during the different meetings I attended and which helped me gain a greater insight on different topics related to Global Health such as during the 71st WHA and the 11th Geneva Conference on Person-Centered Medicine that took place by the start of April 2018.
These different opportunities along with the different responsibilities that I successfully carried on as a WFME intern would not have been possible without the supportive and heart-warming working environment that joined both the WFME and the WMA secretariat and staff. Indeed, as our office was next to the WMA cafeteria, we daily shared our lunch break while some other times we had yoga sessions together in the same building.
Therefore, by the end of the internship, it was very hard for me to say goodbye to this second family I took part of during almost three months. The diversity of age, language and origin along with the different academic and cultural backgrounds of the different members of this family enriched my experience even more while I had the opportunity to broaden my general knowledge on a daily basis during the lunch break discussions.
Last but not least, I would like to encourage any other IFMSA fellow, who is equally passionate about both Medical Education and personal development, to apply for this WFME-IFMSA program and serve in line with the objectives of the two NGOs both independently and in coordination with senior colleagues while holding the belief that they will be positively impacting other future medical students and making a change on a large scale.
Balkiss Abdelmoula, Associa-Med Tunisia