First Global Body of Junior Doctors formed under Auspices of World Medical Association

(19.04.2011) The world's first international body of junior doctors has moved a step closer with the approval by the World Medical Association Council to proceed towards setting up a junior doctors' network.

Membership will be for registered physicians in their early postgraduate years who are yet to complete their specialist training.

Dr. Xaviour Walker, an internal medicine resident working in Boston, USA, but originally from New Zealand, and one of those responsible for setting up the network, said:

'This network will provide a forum for junior doctors worldwide to meet and to discuss issues facing them and will provide the junior doctors' perspective on health and healthcare. We want the network to be as inclusive as possible. These junior doctors will be members of their National Medical Associations but not be the representatives of their NMA. They will be able to contribute greatly to issues we face worldwide and provide unique perspectives and bring skill sets which will enhance the agenda.

‘We hope the Junior Doctors Network will help to contribute towards WMA policy development on issues such as medical education, well being and social media. We believe this network can benefit the WMA and ultimately help the general public who we serve.'

He said that at the moment there was a gap in international representation of junior doctors. There was no world body of junior doctors existing and the vast majority of countries in the world did not have junior doctors' committees'.

Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal, Chair of WMA Council, said: ‘This is a unique opportunity for the world's emerging health specialists and leaders to influence the international health agenda and bring their vital viewpoint to our organisation'.

Dr. Wonchat Subhachaturas, President of the WMA, said: ‘We encourage junior doctors from around the world to be active participants of this network and to take advantage of the platform to ensure it is a vibrant and relevant group'.

WMA Secretary General Dr. Otmar Kloiber added: ‘We can mutually benefit from this network. To have a global platform for junior doctors will be a real gain for the profession, not only young doctors, and the WMA'.