My experience of the IFMSA March Meeting 2016

Posted by Natasha Matthews

Sun, 27 Mar 2016

Medsin-UK Director of International Affairs. Get in contact via

This is the fifth post of a blog series written by delegates to the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), March Meeting 2016 (MM16) in Malta. Stay tuned to this blog series to hear about Medsin’s work at the most recent General Assembly (GA)! For more information, email, and join our Medsin International Facebook page!


Sarah Sobka tells us about her work to gather Medsin members’ input on IFMSA policy, as well as her introduction to the IFMSA’s international research exchanges programme, including being part of ‘SCORE Small Working Group (SWG) on SCORE visibility’ (pictured left) during the Standing Committee on Research Exchange (SCORE) sessions:

If you even have the smallest doubt about whether to put in an application, then stop doubting and just go for it!

As a first year medical student with a new-found love (nee. obsession) with Medsin, I still wasn’t too hopeful that I would be offered a place on the Medsin-UK delegation to Malta. Nonetheless, I am so glad that I put forward the best application that I could as you’ll never know what the outcome will be unless you try!

I was fortunate enough to win the title of ‘UK Young Scientist of the Year 2015’ in my last year of school, so I really wanted to pursue my love for research at medical school and work within the IFMSA’s fantastic international research exchanges programme.

Within the Standing Committee for Research Exchanges (SCORE) sessions we focused on how we could increase the uptake of outgoing students and encourage medical students to pursue research outside the curriculum. One major problem has been increasing the number of professors who accept students on placement so the plan is to create a video specifically for potential tutors and to develop a greater number of promotional materials that put forward the benefits of research exchanges.

As the International Policy and Advocacy Officer, I was also highly involved in gaining Medsin’s opinion on topics that were going to be put forward in plenary and voted on by the IFMSA National Member Organisations (NMOs). For this, I created Medsin-UK’s very own ‘policy summaries’ and organised two webinars for members to discuss the policies.

Whist there is undoubtedly a great deal of work involved as a delegate, actually being at the GA and meeting so many amazing, like-minded individuals made it a truly unforgettable experience. I’ve made so many wonderful friends that I still keep in touch with and that, for me, was one of the most valuable aspects of an IFMSA general assembly. 


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