History of the

The Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) brings together medical students from all over the world to learn, build skills, cooperate, explore and share ideas to address all issues related to Public Health, including Global Health issues, health policies, health promotion, and education activities.

Medical students of the IFMSA formed the Standing Committee on Students’ Health (SCOSH) in 1952, driven by a strong will to take an active part in preventing and making policies concerning health problems. During the following years, the wide variety of activities led to the change of SCOSH to the Standing Committee on Health (SCOH) in 1963.

In 1983 the name of the Committee changed once more to the Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH).

During these six decades, SCOPHeroes have implemented, maintained and improved a wide variety of community-based projects on a local, national and international level. Through these activities, we are pursuing our vision of a healthy society and we are developing our own potential of being complete and skillful health professionals.


Medical Students attain the optimal skills and knowledge to contribute to their full potential towards the making of healthier communities in their capacity as medical students and as future healthcare providers.


The Standing Committee on Public Health promotes the development of medical students worldwide regarding Public Health issues through an international sharing knowledge network, projects management, community-based learning, capacity building, advocacy, exchanges placements and access to external learning opportunities.


Disease prevention within our society.

Health promotion and education within our society.

Raising awareness about global public health issues within medical students and our society.

Advocating for health policies as the voice of worldwide medical students.

Developing skills and knowledge of medical students as the future health professionals.

Working as an international team and collaborating with external public health organizations to use the potential of over one million worldwide medical students.

Collaborate with other fields as medical education, human rights, and reproductive health.

Examples of recent achievements

Public Health Exchanges (SCOPH Exchanges)

Public Health is not always given the importance of the curriculum, including clinical placements of medical students. Public Health Exchanges (SCOPH Exchanges), are exchanges in Public Health settings NGOs, Medical Institutes, primary health care and other such placements. To promote intercultural learning in Public Health and be a source of experience to empower medical students with skills necessary for them as future healthcare providers.

Mental Health

Mental Health is one of the most concerning Public Health Issues of our times, is a priority in IFMSA, SCOPH. Not only Mental Health in general but the mental health of medical students, healthcare professionals and in general within the workplace. Thus, SCOPH has workshops and sessions on Mental Health with not only a focus on a cure but also on prevention and mental well-being.

STOP TB Initiative

Celebrated on March 24th each year, under the STOP TB Partnership, in collaboration with the International Veterinary Students Association (IVSA) and the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF), where the main message was to join forces to fight TB (tuberculosis).

One Health

With the IVSA, students are tackling human and animal health, and are finding doors to collaboration by organizing workshops at the national/international, and by tackling overlapping topics such as food safety, zoonotic diseases, and antimicrobial resistance.

Program on NCDs and Healthy Lifestyles

This program was adopted at the March Meeting 2015. It englobes the different activities and interventions being conducted by NMOs, from campaigns to peer education sessions, making sure that to keep a great impact on the target groups and to keep track on the dynamic and evaluation of the NMOs in this field.

Climate Change and Health

IFMSA demands more considerations for health in the climate talks, and its advocacy work has been successfully recognized by the WHO and the UNFCCC. IFMSA is also dedicated to building capacity at the international level, by organizing several workshops and worldwide campaigns.