IFMSA works on the local and national levels mainly via its six standing committees, each of them focusing focus on major health topics and medical student-related interests:
- Public Health (SCOPH)
- Sexual and Reproductive Health including HIV/AIDS (SCORA)
- Medical Education (SCOME)
- Human Rights & Peace (SCORP)
- Professional Exchanges (SCOPE)
- Research Exchanges (SCORE)
These abbreviations are used frequently in the organization. All start with SCO (Standing Committee on) and end with the abbreviation of the Standing Committee itself (PH – Public Health).
Each Standing Committee is headed by an International Director, who is supported by an international team generally consisting of one Liaison Officer (who is responsible for communication with relevant external partners) and five Regional Assistants (one from each of IFMSAs five regions). On the national level, the Standing Committee is coordinated by the National Officer, who is elected at each NMOs National General Assembly. On the local level the work is executed by one or more Local Officers.
The International Director is the main responsible for the activities and capacity building of his/her standing committees. He/she is in charge of the standing committees sessions at the General Assemblies, and mandated to represent his/her field of work within the Team of Officials.
The Regional Assistants assume majorly the communications with the National and Local Officers of their respective regions. They are in charge of the standing committees sessions at their Regional Meetings, and can be asked, by the Director, to contribute to general tasks related to the development of their standing committee.
The work of each standing committee is complemented by several activities, such as trainings, campaigns and advocacy efforts, offering youth the space to learn in both formal and non-formal educational settings. Thousands of projects, activities, conferences and workshops are organized each year internationally, nationally and locally through National Member Organizations within the IFMSA network in each area, allowing students to become agents of change at home.
This structure represents one of the Federations main mottos: Think Global, Act Local.