53rd General Assembly of the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations focuses on violence prevention
From 3-9 August 2004, the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations (IFMSA) General Assembly took place in the Macedonian lake town of Ohrid. A record number of over 700 students from more than 70 countries attended. Emily Spry, IFMSA President, said: "For the first time … this General Assembly has a theme, Violence and Health". Building on the close collaboration between IFMSA and WHO over the past few years, the meeting agenda gave medical students an opportunity to learn about violence as a global health problem, how international agencies and countries are responding to the challenge of its prevention, and what they as medical students and later as doctors can do to prevent violence and provide improved services for victims. Speaking at the opening ceremony, World Medical Association (WMA) President, Professor James Appleyard, underlined WMA's commitment to strengthening the medical profession's role in violence prevention and victim service provision, and during the meeting presented seminars on violence prevention and structural violence. Plenary presentations included a review of Macedonia's national violence prevention activities by Dr Fimka Tozija, Head of the Macedonian Republic's Department for Injury and Violence Control and Prevention, and an overview by Dr Henrietta Bencevic of the Institute of Public Health in Croatia of an international survey showing the need for increased attention to injury and violence prevention training in the curricula of medical students around the world.