Not so long ago, I was a fresh new medical student with a strong interest in global issues and a background on social activism and human rights. I was – and still am – highly interested in politics, social equity and youth implication.
Over the course of my first weeks at university, I met a few students who were involved in something called the IFMSA. My dream of becoming a doctor transformed into a dream of being not only a doctor but also a global health advocate. I soon became a local officer for IFMSA-Quebec standing committee on global health (SCOGH) and next thing I know, I was on a plane heading to Peru for my first regional meeting. And in April 2012, I was elected President of my NMO. So far, it has been one amazing journey and I don’t regret one single thing.
In only a year and a half, IFMSA taught me so much. Through various trainings, workshops, sessions, plenaries and meetings, I’ve been exposed to multiple social and global health issues that we face today. I was amazed and I encountered to meet outstanding people that inspired me to become, what I believe to be, a positive leader. I’ve grown not only as a future doctor, but also as a person that truly cares for global health.
I was blown away by some of the projects done on the local level around the globe. Nothing is more powerful than medical students tackling global health inequities. Nothing is more forceful than medical students advocating for their patients’ rights and safety. Nothing is more inspiring than seeing over 800 medical students sitting in one room and talking about public health, climate change and social determinants of health.
Today, I have the chance to serve you as the Projects Regional Assistant for the Americas. I also have the opportunity to co-lead a workshop on global health equity and to participate in the upcoming Global Health Debate that will take place during our Regional Meeting 2013.
I refuse to give up. I refuse to keep silent. I refuse to stay an observer. I refuse to close my eyes to violation of human rights. I am a very optimistic person. I always see the good side in people. I am full of hope. And I believe we can close the gap in our generation. This might explain why I am so into IFMSA.
The current worldwide movement around global health relies on medical students committed to health equity, like you, like us, like every single member of IFMSA. Our energy, passion, motivation and engagement are needed. We, the health professionals of tomorrow, need to stand up and speak for those who can’t. We must pursue the dream of global health equity and we must keep alive the hope for social change. We have in our hands the largest student network of the world. We have the skills and the tools to train our colleagues and to educate ourselves. We have the power to make global health equity a reality.
All together, we will get there.