Press Releases

To read IFMSA-Quebec’s press releases,  click here .

Hippocrates against voluntourism
Many of us have tasted voluntourism, quite naively: mosquito nets intended to protect against malaria, wrongly used as fish nets; college students transformed into surgeon assistants; academics who became adoptive parents for a month. Having thus been confronted with the question repeatedly, we offer some possible solutions, for lasting partnerships, enriching experiences and respect for communities …. ( continue )

100 groups urge Trudeau to end pipeline reviews
Environmental, community and business groups are pushing for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to shut down a pair of pipeline reviews before heading to Paris for climate talks. The City of Burnaby, the Georgia Strait Alliance, Greenpeace Canada and the Sierra Club B.C. are among 100 groups seeking a halt to National Energy Board reviews of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion and TransCanada’s Energy East proposal. In a joint letter sent Thursday to Trudeau, the groups say the reviews should be put on hold until fundamental flaws in the process are fixed…. (continuer)

The tax on soft drinks redemanded
In Quebec, one in four children is overweight, and that number jumps to almost 60% in adults. In a new report on the costs of obesity in Quebec, the National Institute of Public Health estimates the cost of drugs and disability associated with excessive weight and obesity at $ 1.4 billion. Added to this are the costs of nights spent in hospital and medical consultations, evaluated at $ 1.5 billion in 2011. This means that obesity would cost Quebec taxpayers at least $ 2.9 billion per year … ( continue )

500 medical students call for action on refugee crisis
Faced with the current Syrian refugee crisis, our Canadian government has reluctantly offered its support: we should, according to Mr. Harper, welcome 10,000 refugees within three years; grant humanitarian aid to those who remained in the conflict zone; and intervene militarily to eradicate the designated source of the problem. As medical students dedicated to global health, we question this frail commitment to such an urgent crisis and call for concrete action in line with Canadian values ​​…. ( continue )

Climate change, a duty in health
Dealing with climate change is not only a duty to our planet, but also a unique opportunity to progress in health. This is what the Lancet Commission on Climate Change and Health, published on June 23, reveals, once again concluding that the fight against climate change could be the biggest global health opportunity of the 21st century. Medical students from Quebec therefore wish to recall that this fight should be considered as an objective in public health, in the same way as the fight against obesity or tobacco… ( continue )

Preventing Obesity Instead of Treating It
In 2006, in Canada, the productivity losses associated with obesity were estimated at $ 5 billion. Obesity affects nearly one in four adults in Quebec and generates more than $ 1.5 billion in health care costs per year, according to the latest report from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) on the costs of obesity and related illnesses in health care. This is why IFMSA-Quebec, the international and community division of the Quebec Medical Student Federation (FMEQ), is calling for concrete prevention measures from the ministry… ( continue )

Opinion: Canada should renew its commitment to fighting tuberculosis around the world
The world was unprepared for the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa even though red flags were raised months in advance. Thousands of families, communities and individuals were needlessly ravaged by this epidemic. Let us not make the same mistake by ignoring another disease that has killed more people than any other infectious disease in human history: tuberculosis (TB)… (continuer)

Future doctors against trans fats in restaurants
Medical students want to eliminate trans fats from restaurants in Quebec. “They have no nutritional value and several studies have shown that they are harmful to cardiovascular health,” reads a press release from IFMSA-Quebec, the international affairs division of the Quebec Medical Student Federation ( FMEQ), who … ( continue )

WHO Education Guidelines – Envisioning a greener, healthier future: climate change education for health professionals
The world is beginning to recognize that climate change directly threatens our health. This week in Geneva, the WHO Conference on Health and Climate will gather over 300 government ministers, experts and ambassadors from around the world in order to discuss the dangers climate change poses to our health and the global action needed to prevent these consequences. For those who are not aware of the link between climate and our health, this event beckons the question: why should health professionals be taught about climate change… (continuer)

The Huffington Post – Canada Should Start Taking Climate Change Very Seriously
Climate change is widely recognized as being one of the most serious threats to global public health of the coming century. It is crucial that public health organizations such as the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) take meaningful action in order to limit the health consequences of climate change… (continuer)

Le Bulletin –  IFMSA-Quebec receives the Hommage Bénévolat Québec
On April 9, 2014 IFMSA-Québec received the Hommage Bénévolat Québec award, awarded by the Secretariat for autonomous community action and social initiatives of the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs of the Government of Quebec. Claudel P-Desrosiers, president, and Camille Marcoux, national coordinator of the sexual health committee, received the award on behalf of IFMSA-Quebec with great pride… ( continue )

The Huffington Post –  Talking about health prevention: an electoral challenge
The electoral campaign is in full swing, yet health prevention remains a forgotten subject, a challenge that few dare to tackle. The proposals on the table talk about increasing the number of family medicine groups (GMF), increasing the number of super-nurses and super-clinics, or even abolishing health and social services agencies. The congestion of the health system is mentioned by all, reflecting one of the major concerns of Quebecers… (continue)

Quebec Coalition for Tobacco  Control – Letter to the Minister of Health 
As Minister of Health, you already know that tobacco is the most important cause of preventable disease and death in Quebec, killing more than 10,400 Quebeckers each year. The worst part is that each of these deaths is preventable, tobacco being a completely useless product, the existence of which depends solely on the pursuit of profit in an industry without a conscience. IFMSA-Québec, an organization representing all medical students in Quebec, recognizes the urgent need to act in order to reduce the economic and social burden linked to tobacco consumption… ( continue )

PLOS – Climate and Health – a call for action from tomorrow’s global leaders
Climate change has important health impacts and given the inequitable distribution of its consequences, it is contributing to increasing health disparities between developing and developed countries. Quantitatively, climate change is estimated to be responsible for “154 000 (0.3%) deaths and the attributable burden was 5.5 million (0.4%) DALYs” in 2000. If we continue along the current path, health impacts of climate change will not only increase, but do so faster than ever before. One of the most terrifying things about climate change is that those it affects most are also the most vulnerable people, those living in the poorest countries. They, who are the least responsible for climate change, will bear the largest burden of impact… (continuer)

The Huffington Post – When the food industry presents itself as an obesity expert, medical students respond
Large food companies like Coca-Cola touting themselves as part of the solution to the fight against obesity appears sly to us. Intensive marketing campaigns keep their products attractive, but are proof of bad taste. It’s no longer a secret: the amount of sugar contained in sugary drinks is a major contributor to the obesity and diabetes epidemic in Quebec, among adults and children alike. Moreover, the consumption of sugary drinks is the only eating practice consistently linked to excessive weight in children… ( continue )

My climate, my health – Sustainable development goals for the planet: under construction!
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are coming to an end in 2015 and the international community is looking for a new set of goals that will address the challenges facing our world. Claudel P-Desrosiers shares his vision of development: “Sustainable development is based on three pillars: the environment, the economy, and society. From my perspective as a medical student, health is an issue that transcends these pillars. It must therefore be central to the discussions. As successors to the MDGs, the SDGs will provide a universally adopted framework for comprehensive development policies for the next 15 to 30 years. They seem to be part of the solution to the big issues of the 21st century,continue )

CCGHR – Gathering Perspectives
Our organizations represent the over 14,000 medical students within Canada. We work towards representing, advocating for and providing services to our many members. In some ways, we have very little in common as a team. In other ways we are exactly the same. We all came to medicine with different backgrounds and from different areas of the country. Kimberly is from the West; Claudel, a francophone from Quebec, and Neil from southern Ontario. Kimberly was an epidemiologist, Neil an engineer and Claudel directly jumps into medical school after completing her CEGEP. We are bound together by our common love for global health, appreciation of the broader context of illness, and current educational pursuits. It was this common bond that led us to address the United Nations in New York one day in June… (continuer)

FFAPAMM Congress – Osmosis Conference
The Osmosis project is an initiative of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) of Quebec. It aims to initiate young people in Quebec secondary schools through peer education workshops. This project has three objectives: to break the taboos surrounding mental illness, to provide appropriate and high-quality information and to provide relevant and competent support resources. Led by medical students from the universities of Quebec, the workshops are given in Montreal, Quebec and Chicoutimi and the project is being deployed in other regions of Quebec. The project managers will present to you the content and the process of the Osmosis workshops, their impact on the young people met and the development perspectives of the program.

Forces AVENIR – INcommunity
As strange as it may seem, there are still some people in Quebec who do not receive all the health services to which they are entitled, because of distance, language barriers, prejudice or ignorance. This is why future doctors from the University of Montreal, aware of this reality and sensitive to fundamental human rights, have set up the INcommunity project. By providing pre-clinical medical students with immersion internships with marginalized populations, INcommunity contributes in an innovative way to promoting equitable access to quality health care… (continue)

LOJIQ – International involvement of medical students
My name is Yassen Tcholakov, I am a second year medical student from the University of Montreal and thanks to LOJIQ, I was able to discover the world and discover myself. I’m not the only one; every year, hundreds of medical students from Quebec attend international conferences, take part in medical internships or take part in cultural immersion activities. As President of IFMSA-Quebec, the international branch of the Fédération Médicale Étudiante du Québec, I am aware of a large number of these initiatives and I would like here to testify to all the international opportunities that the students that I have spoken to participate in; opportunities they often could not benefit from without the support of LOJIQ… (continue)

Le Pouls – Urban medicine according to INcommunity
The primary goal of medicine is to improve people’s health. Paradoxically, some vulnerable people with poor health have little or no access to adequate care. Some of these underserved people live in the heart of metropolises, especially in Montreal. Urban medicine aims to try to provide care to these neglected populations … (continue)

Geneva Health Forum – INcommunity: Immersions in neglected communities
The issue of local neglected communities remains unknown to many medical students of Montreal, possibly as a result not many studies have been conducted regarding these populations. However prejudices and a lack of comprehension may invariably lead to a lack of good care, and people living in these conditions will be found with unmet needs. Then emerged the idea of INcommunity. Our main goals are to increase medical students’ comprehension of local neglected communities while also fighting stigma about these people. We identified four neglected communities, which are Migrants, Aboriginals, Inner-city communities and Offenders…(continuer)

Council of Europe – World Aware Education Awards – Recognising excellence in partnership, networking and coordination for increased and improved global education
Effective global health education provides students with an understanding of the broader determinants of health and healthcare delivery. It encourages students to consider the ways in which these determinants transcend national borders, and the profound impacts of globalisation on health. Think Global aims for all future healthcare professionals to have an understanding of global health. The project works with students involved in the IFMSA (International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations), providing them with opportunities to learn about global health in the context of their clinical and extracurricular activities. As global health education is relevant to all medical students, Think Global integrates comprehensively with all aspects of the IFMSA, working closely with the Standing Committees on: Public Health; Medical Education; Human Rights and Peace; Professional Exchange; Reproductive Health including HIV/AIDS; and Research Exchange… (continuer)

Forum de Médecine familiale 2011 – INcommunity : Immersion in neglected populations/Immersion en populations négligées
We often take for granted that neglected populations are only encountered in developing countries, and we are seeing a huge tendency to act internationally. But the fact is that there are local neglected populations that are vulnerable due to their socio-economic situations. Our project aims to bring preclinical students in those communities so that they better understand their reality and their specific needs as future physicians…(continuer)

Première ligne – Family medicine for the benefit of neglected communities 
We observed that certain local populations were not adequately supported by the Quebec health system. Some patients do not present themselves at the emergency room on time, for fear of being judged by medical staff, among others, or for lack of understanding of their medical coverage. Faced with this reality of neglected local populations, a group of students took the initiative to create observation internships for pre-clinical students in certain environments, with the objectives of breaking down prejudices, of better understanding the needs and specificities of these populations and stimulating the interest of students to work with them in their future practice …(Continue)

Quebec Ministry of International Relations – Strong Quebec presence at the 7th UNESCO Youth Forum
On October 18, at the initiative of the Office franco-québécois pour la jeunesse (OFQJ), the representative of the Government of Quebec within the Permanent Delegation of Canada to UNESCO, Ms. Michèle Stanton-Jean, in collaboration with the Permanent Delegation of France to UNESCO, brought together about twenty young people from Quebec and France to share their impressions on the challenges of the Forum as well as on their academic and professional career. The OFQJ is a bi-governmental organization established in Quebec and in France which contributes to the rapprochement of French and Quebec youth through mobility programs focused on professional development and improvement… (continue)

La voix de La Maisonnée – Medical students at La Maisonnée
If you have met one of the four medical students from the University of Montreal who were doing an observation internship in June and July at home, you may be wondering why 1st and 2nd year medical students decided to participate in an unpaid and extracurricular internship in an organization that does not offer healthcare… and during their summer vacation … (continue)

Journal des étudiants en médecine de la Mauricie – The INcommunity experience: An internship with migrant populations in Montreal!
This summer, 4 medical students, Mathieu Létourneau, Myriam St-Pierre Lussier, Boyang Zheng, and myself participated in an immersion internship in neglected populations: an INcommunity internship. This internship for preclinical medical students was designed by students in order to make their colleagues aware of health issues specific to the migrant population of Montreal and to better highlight the intercultural issues of health care management for migrant populations … ( Continue)

IFMSA Press Release – IFMSA Press Release on the urgent need for reconstruction of medical training in Haiti
January 12th 2010, 4:53 PM. A massive earthquake hit Haiti which claimed thousands of lives and caused the collapse of homes, churches, government buildings, schools and universities. In particular, three of the country’s four medical schools were destroyed. This imposed a profound setback in sustaining health care towards the population. Albeit an outstanding international support to Haiti was shown immediately after the earthquake, the flow of promised funding and the reconstruction of the medical school buildings are yet to be waited for… (continuer)

The SCORPion (Standing Committee On human Rights and Peace) – INcommunity: Caring for local neglected communities
The SCORP aims to promote values of equity, justice and solidarity. We often say that humans are born free and equal; but actually, we need to understand that they are born in a specific situation with social and economic determinants, which make them far from equal. That’s why solidarity is important; to give everyone the opportunity to achieve their goal in their lives, even when they begin at different starting points… (continuer)

IFMSA Project Bulletin – INcommunity: Immersions in neglected communities
The project started one year ago after attending a conference presenting some of the main issues affecting local communities. We were confronted to the fact that we lacked comprehension regarding certain populations, despite the fact that we cohabit with a few of them on a daily basis in Montreal. While topics such as neglected tropical diseases are more and more addressed in our medical cursus, the issue of local neglected communities remains unknown to many students, possibly as a result of the fact that not many studies have been conducted regarding these populations. What is sure, however, is that a lack of comprehension may invariably lead to a lack of good care, and people living in these conditions will be found with unmet needs. Then emerged the idea of INcommunity… (continuer)

The Lancet – IFMSA 59th general meeting Part III
What an incredible atmosphere – after days of candidate presentations, deliberations, and heavy campaigning from all sides, the doors to the Plenary room are locked, and 600 medical students from nearly 60 different countries party (as only medics know how) while the votes are counted for the Team of Officials of the IFMSA at the 59th General Assembly in Montreal, Quebec… (continuer)

Synapse – IFMSA-Quebec Spring Congress at UdeM Campus in Mauricie
It is with enthusiasm that we received our sisters and brothers in the modern facilities of the Campus of the University of Montreal in Mauricie. Located between Montreal, Quebec, Sherbrooke and Saguenay, the choice of Trois-Rivières turned out to be an interesting alternative for everyone. The large number of students who responded to the invitation attests to their growing involvement in exchange programs and in projects on the themes of sexual health, public health, global health, as well as on human rights and peace. Recall that IFMSA-Quebec is the international division of the Quebec Medical Student Federation (FMEQ) which represents Quebec medical students at the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), which will celebrate its 60th anniversary this summer …(Continue)

Synapse – IFMSA-Quebec invites you to the third edition of its Global Health Colloquium
Organized every year for the past three years by IFMSA-Quebec, the Global Health Colloquium brings together students from the four faculties of medicine in Quebec and members of the public for a weekend of information and discussion on major global health issues. Through conferences and workshops, participants will be encouraged to reflect on and debate these questions, as well as to recognize the role they can play in them as health professionals. For this third edition, all of the IFMSA-Quebec committees have joined in the development of the program, making it possible to broaden the spectrum of topics addressed to issues affecting global health as well as public health, reproductive health and human rights… (continue)

Forces Avenir – Healthy and Proud – Avenir Santé
At a time when performance and beauty are at the top of the criteria for success, adolescents experience enormous pressure on a daily basis which pushes them to try as best they can. struggling to meet the demands conveyed by the media and society in general. It is mainly from this idea that medical students at the universities of Montreal and McGill have developed the Healthy and Proud project. This project is structured around preventive workshops, the main theme of which is body image, a factor common to several at-risk behaviors among adolescents… (continue)

Forces Avenir – Sexperts – Future Health
Quebec youth carries the future of Quebec, and its health is therefore a priority. And who says good health also says healthy sexuality. In the context of an upsurge in sexually transmitted diseases and following the abolition of sex education classes in secondary schools, the arrival of a group like Sexperts in the landscape of 12-17 year olds seems like a breath of fresh air… (continue)

Synapse – The Quebec project Sexperts! recognized on the international scene
For more than five years now, medical students in Quebec have been mobilizing to offer sex education workshops to adolescents. The Sexperts! Project, founded in 2005, has enabled 3,000 Quebec students to receive training on the subject. Following the reform of the education system in 2005, the personal and social training course (FPS), in which students addressed the concepts of sexual health, was abolished. Medical students reacted by creating Sexperts !, a peer education program where students present high school youth with a fun and interactive training session on sexual health… (continue)

Synapse – The Faculty’s students more present internationally than ever
After welcoming more than 800 medical students from all over the world to Montreal last August, the medical students of the University of Montreal are taking international meetings by storm this winter. The student members of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) will meet next March in Jakarta, then in August in Copenhagen, where they will have the opportunity to celebrate the 60 year anniversary of the biggest and the oldest student federation in the world. Remember that IFMSA, present in 95 countries, manages 11,000 exchanges annually in areas as varied as public health and human rights… (continue)

Synapse – More than 80 countries represented at the Montreal AM 2010 student assembly
From July 31 to August 6, more than 800 medical students from around the world gathered at the Palais des congrès de Montréal to participate in the 59th General Assembly of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA). This event, better known as Montreal AM 2010, is the first of its magnitude to be held in Canada. Montreal AM 2010 is the result of a close collaboration between IFMSA-Quebec and its Canadian equivalent, the Global Health Program of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) / Fédération Médicale Étudiante (FEMC). This event was made possible thanks to the feat of raising over $ 200,000 in sponsorships, granted mainly by student associations, medical schools and tourism organizations …(Continue)

Forces Avenir – Over 80 countries represented at the Montreal AM 2010 student assembly
Depression, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders or schizophrenia. These are well-known words, but associated with diseases that are too often overlooked. Yet Health Canada predicts that mental health disorders will soon affect one in five people in the country. It is precisely to demystify these disorders among young secondary 5 students that medical students from the University of Montreal, members of the Public Health Committee, set up the Osmosis project… (continue)

Forces Avenir – Plus de 80 pays représentés à l’assemblée étudiante Montréal AM 2010
Dépression, troubles de l’humeur, troubles anxieux, troubles alimentaires ou la schizophrénie. Voilà des mots bien connus, mais associés à des maladies trop souvent méconnues. Pourtant, Santé Canada prévoit que les troubles de santé mentale toucheront bientôt une personne sur cinq au pays. C’est justement pour démystifier ces troubles auprès de jeunes élèves de 5e secondaire, que des étudiants en médecine de l’Université de Montréal, membres du Comité de santé publique, ont mis sur pied le projet Osmose… (continuer)

Canadian Medical Association Journal – Quebec Students Getting Involved
There is a growing interest amongst the medical community concerning international aid. Indeed, globalization has triggered the slow realization that countries with greater economic wealth have a duty to help those in need. Lysa Bryden’s article demonstrates to us how one person can make a difference and how getting involved can help develop perspective. Several organizations are participating in the endeavor of global health; doctors all over the country are donating their time, money and expertise, and these activities are paralleled by student initiatives. In Quebec, the Fédération Médicale Étudiante du Québec has a specialized branch that promotes international health: IFMSA-Quebec. The federation organizes activities within Quebec’s four faculties of medicine, primarily promoting public, reproductive and global health. IFMSA-Quebec also coordinates international exchange programs which allow students the opportunity to participate in clinical or research experiences in numerous countries. Furthermore, the international affairs branch facilitates student involvement in humanitarian activities in South America and Africa… (continuer)

Forces Avenir – Quebec Students Getting Involved
The goal of Sexperts McGill: The Sexual Education Project is to curb the increase in sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne infections (STI and BBI) among teenagers. Founded in the fall of 2005 by students in the health sciences at McGill University, the project has already reached out to more than 400 high school students on the Island of Montréal and prompted many young people to take a screening test. According to the Web site, more than one out of five young people between the ages of 15 and 17 does not use contraception during sexual intercourse. Moreover, 29% of young males between the ages of 15 and 19 do not use condoms and for young women in the same age bracket, the figure is 51%. It was these alarming statistics that prompted the McGill students to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the project, developing an innovative approach that relies on the effectiveness of the message and the active participation of its student members… (continuer)