swimsa celebrated its 95th anniversary during the largest Swiss National Assembly ever!

swimsa, the Swiss Medical Students’ Association, represents more than 7000 Medical Students including all seven medical faculties of Switzerland. The first Swiss Medical Students’ Association was founded 1917. This year in 2012, we celebrated the 95th anniversary during the largest National Assembly ever, in swimsa history.

Emergency and Disaster Medicine

From the 30th March to the 1st April nearly three hundred medical students attended the National Assembly in Lausanne, a city in the French speaking part ofSwitzerland.

Thus, the organizing committee established a new record with this great number of participants in the history of our National Assemblies, which we call SMSC (Swiss Medical Students’ Convention). Besides the international guests from IFMSA-Sweden, Medsin-UK, SISM- Italy, EMSA and bvmd-Germany we also welcomed the IFMSA Treasurer Alexandre Lefvebre and Professor Eric Holst, the first president of IFMSA.

During this weekend, “Emergency and Disaster Medicine” was the main topic and participants could choose between forty different workshops. Workshops such as “Dr. House & Emergency”, “Medicine in the mountains”, “Terrorism and Medicine during war” were part of this big assortment of workshops. Live videos from disaster medicine taken during avalanches and mountain climbing, were shown by doctors, specialised on emergency medicine, during lectures. You could feel the excitement in the whole lecture hall. Followed by a project fair and a debate about testimony, medical students had the opportunity to experience the world of emergency medicine during their first official day of the swimsa congress.

Special Evening- 95 years of swimsa!

The evening of the first congress day was dedicated to the celebration of swimsas’ birthday. Delicious Dinner, interesting speeches and videos looking back to the development of swimsa as well as a live Skype Meeting with a swimsa Alumni took place in a Restaurant with a beautiful view at the lake.

After an aperitif, the beginning of the evening was introduced by the swimsa EB and the Dean of the medical faculty in Lausanne. Prof. Holst held a speech about how he got started with the IFMSA and what difficulties it included such as travelling to Paris with an old VW bus – which unfortunately stopped occasionally- from northern Europe. Then he told us the story of how the same bus brought him to Zurich to the second GA in 1952 and what kind of a shock it was for them to see the Swiss Alps the first time!! Alexandre Lefvebre represented the IFMSA and gave us a welcome and congratulation message from the IFMSA-EB. First he prepared his speech in English, but swimsa convinced him to share his cute French Canadian accent with us, so in the end the IFMSA was introduced in French.

The evening was followed by social programme “Doctors Go Crazy” in a brand new club in Lausanne. Even Prof. Holst celebrated nearly the whole night with us! Imagine people from whole Europe and every part of Switzerland dancing, speaking at least 3 different languages and drinking with the first IFMSA president who founded this association 62 years ago….Incredible!!

On the next day, lots of IFMSA Energizers and coffee kept the crowd awake and let our students enjoy their second workshop in emergency medicine before the next OC introduced the next congress during the closing ceremony with a video. The whole congress has been an unforgettable weekend, which has reached the goal to show all the medical students, how much fun it is to be a swimsa member…and of course to be part of the IFMSA!


Dear NMOs,

Don’t hesitate to share your experiences of your national assemblies on the IFMSA Blog! I am sure, that we can inspire each other through the different and unique ways in holding a national assembly!

For receiving more impressions of our congress, you can:

–       watch our video about the development of swimsa

–       read our National Journal of Swiss Medical Students

–       visit our website

Anna Wang, Vice-President for Public Relations of swimsa

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