International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA)



Counter-Terrorism & Prevention of Violent Extremism, Development Cooperation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Education, Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, Health, Humanitarian Emergencies, Research, Science, Technology & Innovation, Sustainability and Environment, Volunteerism




01 - No Poverty, 02 - Zero Hunger, 03 - Good Health and Well-being, 04 - Quality Education, 05 - Gender Equality, 06 - Clean Water and Sanitation, 07 - Affordable and Clean Energy, 08 - Decent Work and Economic Growth, 09 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 10 - Reduced Inequalities, 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities, 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production, 13 - Climate Action, 14 - Life Below Water, 15 - Life on Land, 16 - Peace and Justice Strong Institutions, 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Organization Type




Who we are

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), founded in 1951, is one of the world’s oldest and largest student-run organizations. It represents, connects and engages every day with medical students from 135 NMOs in 125 countries around the globe.

Our work is divided into four main global health areas: Public Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Medical Education and Human Rights and Peace. Each year, we organize over 13,000 clinical and research exchanges programs for our students to explore innovations in medicine, healthcare systems and healthcare delivery in other settings. IFMSA brings people together to exchange, discuss and initiate projects to create a healthier world. It trains its members to give them the skills and resources needed to be health leaders. It advocates for the pressing issues that matter to us to shape the world we want. And it does deliver: our projects, our campaigns and our activities positively impact the physicians-to be, the communities they serve, as well as the health systems around the world in which they practice as a trainee and eventually a medical doctor.

Our Members

The membership structure of IFMSA is based on the concept of a Federation. The members are national medical students organizations. IFMSA currently has 136 Organizations (NMOs) from 126 countries and areas.

Our members are independent organizations that abide by the regulations of the Federation, of which the most important is that they have an open membership for all medical students from that country.

IFMSA creates an impact on the local level through the medical students that are part of the NMOs and work on activities, projects, and campaigns that align with the international strategy set through IFMSA Programs and work within specific fields called Standing Committees. Just like many international organizations, IFMSA works in regions. The five regions are Africa, Americas, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Mediterranean Region and Europe. This regional division fosters the outreach of the organization and increases collaboration amongst the NMOs, at the same time that promotes the representation of the federation within regional entities.

With the current number of Organizations IFMSA represents over one million medical students worldwide. The figures indicate that IFMSA is the biggest international medical students organizations and therefore IFMSA is recognized as the voice of medical students by many international organizations, such as the WHO.

IFMSA allows its Members to create an impact on the local level regarding many global health topics through carrying out activities. IFMSA can provide the tools and experience when it comes to the creation of these activities. Also, IFMSA has an exchange program that allows medical students to do an exchange in a country where an NMO is active, that can be either professional or research exchange. Furthermore, NMOs can participate in internal meetings, during which many workshops are held to build capacities of the attendees. NMOs can partake in external meetings and bring back home, to the students they represent, a lot of benefits, and to be their voice to global stakeholders through IFMSA. Lastly, IFMSA is a platform for NMOs to exchange experiences and share ideas.

What we do

For over 60 years, IFMSA has been run for and by medical students on a voluntary basis. IFMSA envisions a world in which all medical students unite for global health and are equipped with the resources, skills and knowledge to take on health leadership roles locally and globally, so that we can shape the healthy and sustainable future we want. Numerous projects, campaigns, conferences and workshops are organized across member countries in the field of public health, sexual and reproductive health, medical education, and human rights and peace. The Federation also runs over 13,000 clinical and research exchanges annually for the students to explore innovations in medicine and healthcare systems and delivery in other settings. IFMSA is currently building up its programs, which will reflect the work of the Federation in various fields of global health. Programs are specifically designed to connect students and to offer them the possibility to organize and run several activities under a common theme.

The IFMSA experience shows students that they are not merely passive subjects in a rapidly globalizing world, but rather valuable individuals with a potentially powerful role to play in global health. IFMSA hence offers medical students a taste of the real and pressing health issues worldwide, and help them learn that their idealistic goals can be achieved with readily attainable knowledge and commitment.

In IFMSA, the emphasis is placed on students returning to their local environments with new ideas and the skills to implement them. As the doctors of tomorrow and future leaders of health, we feel confident that our students will carry this spirit with them throughout their professional lives so that they positively impact the communities they serve.

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