MSA (LAU Medical Students Association)
The Medical Students Association is an LAU student club that personifies the humanitarian spirit of the Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine. The MSA organizes a variety of outreach, educational, and fundraising activities throughout the year. These events bring together the community of faculty, staff, and students from LAU’s medical school and medical centers, at the same time raising money to benefit the community at large.
All LAU medical students are eligible to join the MSA and take part in activities. The MSA is overseen by a board of eleven students, elected yearly by their classmates. In addition to a club president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary, the MSA Board includes the heads of several committees: the External Affairs, Social, USMLE, Awareness, MedNashra, DMD, and Media Committees. A faculty member from the School of Medicine serves as official club advisor and provides guidance for the organization.
Major events sponsored and organized by the MSA
- Annual Fundraising Christmas Concert: Both the musical performers and the audience at this lively event are drawn from the school of medicine student body, residents, faculty, staff, and family members. In recent years these well-attended concerts have raised funds to support a free clinic located at LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital, and a mobile clinic that travels to regions of Lebanon where there are limited resources for healthcare.
- Annual Fundraising Gala: This formal event brings together members of the school of medicine and hospital communities in a festive venue outside of campus, and gives the MSA an opportunity to showcase the past year’s achievements. Proceeds from the Gala dinner support the MSA’s charitable endeavors.
- National Health Day: This comprehensive health screening takes place simultaneously in several underserved areas of Lebanon. MSA officers and members carry out the planning, organizing, recruiting, publicizing, and procuring of resources for the event. A medical check-up and screening tests, along with information about health promotion and disease prevention, are offered free of charge to each participant. Students, residents, attending physicians, and local volunteers all contribute to this large-scale effort to benefit the community, with senior personnel providing supervision to ensure a high standard of care.
- Social Awareness Events: These activities, which generally take place on campus, serve to raise awareness about issues that may affect the physical or mental health of our community.
- Diagnostic Medicine Day: DMD is a fun and friendly competition, founded and organized by the LAU MSA. All medical schools in Lebanon are invited to contribute teams of students to join this annual event. Each team is tasked with solving the same medical case based on history, physical findings, and laboratory tests, in a limited period of time and within a limited virtual budget. The sole informational resource available to contestants is a specific textbook, and no technological assistance is allowed (no internet!).
- MedNashra: Medical interviews conducted by first- and second-year medical students are posted on our social media platforms, to provide the community with insights into common diseases and medical misconceptions in a format that is easy to understand.
- USMLE Preparation: Second-year medical students provide regular USMLE-based review sessions to students in the first and second medical years who are preparing for international exams.
LeMSIC (Lebanese Medical Students International Committee)
The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) is an organization of medical students, for medical students and by medical students. Founded in 1951, the IFSMA currently holds 136 National Member Organizations from more than 126 countries and areas with over one million students represented worldwide. IFMSA is recognized by the World Health Organization and the World Medical Association.
In 1964, the Lebanese Medical Students’ International Committee was founded and joined IFMSA as an active national member organization. LeMSIC is an independent, student-run, nonpolitical, non-governmental and not-for-profit organization that has worked toward empowering medical students, introducing them to global health, and providing them with exchange opportunities.
LAU LeMSIC is an official student club at the university. It is also a unique resource that allows LAU medical students to collaborate on meaningful projects and experience life abroad through professional or research exchange offered by IFMSA. Through LAU LeMSIC, participating students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge, broaden their perspective, and build long-lasting relationships with medical students from around the world.
The LAU LeMSIC local committee is headed by a Local Director who coordinates the work of members and standing committees, and collaborates with other local committees. At LAU, we have four standing committees: professional exchange (SCOPE), research exchange (SCORE), public health (SCOPH), and reproductive health and rights including HIV & AIDS (SCORA). Committee leaders, who are elected on a yearly basis, organize events within LAU and participate in national events organized by the national standing committee. The LAU LeMSIC team receives support from a designated faculty advisor at the LAU Gilbert and Rose-Marie Chagoury School of Medicine.
“This was the best experience of my life. Not only have I gotten exposed to a different hospital environment, but also I learned about the Russian culture and traditions and got to meet lovely fellow medical students who have turned into dear friends of mine.”
Rasha Abou Jaoude
“IFMSA was a life-changing experience, from the challenges of living independently to the satisfaction of meeting amazing people and cultures from all around the world. The best way to summarize this trip with one word is ‘incredible’ for students evolve not only as physicians but also as individuals. Thank you for ‘bringing us together’ IFMSA in ways I would have never imagined possible.”
Mohammad Othman El Helou