Origin: The PAMS

AMSA-Philippines traces its roots to its forerunner, the Philippine Alliance of Medical Students or PAMS, an association of medical students from various medical schools and was founded in 1981. PAMS started joining the Asian Medical Students' Conference (AMSC) in 1983 when it was held in Malaysia. AMSC was a gathering of medical students from Asia, originally created by students from four countries: India, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand to discuss various health issues.

Filipino medical students, through PAMS, became active participants in the AMSC, eventually being given the privilege of hosting the 6th version of the conference. The 6th AMSC was held in Manila, Philippines back in 1985, and was organized by PAMS through the leadership of then medical student, Dr. Pancho Flores. The conference had the theme: "Role of Youth in Population Control: Asian Viewpoints." It was also in this conference that the medical students participating in AMSC formally organized and created the Asian Medical Students' Association - International or AMSA-International with the ratification of the AMSA-International constitution and the formation of its first executive committee to further strengthen and intensify the organization. PAMS thus became one of the founding members of AMSA-International.

The establishment of AMSA-Philippines

 Support for the organization started to wane through the years. PAMS was re-energized back in 1989 when its members tried to get the organization to be accredited by different medical schools. The medical students that were members of PAMS then came from UST, UP, PERPETUAL, LA SALLE, AUF, FEU, and MCU. PAMS saw a resistance from getting accreditation from medical schools, allegedly due to the misconception regarding its name: the word "alliance" then was often associated with activists. Therefore in 1990, then medical student Dr. Filipina Cevallos Schnabel, then President and Regional Coordinator of PAMS, changed its name to: Asian Medical Students' Association - Philippines or AMSA-Philippines. It was also in that same year that AMSA-Philippines was first registered to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Republic of the Philippines. AMSA-Philippines' first logo was a modified version of that of AMSA-International.

The newly re-energized AMSA-Philippines went on to host the 18th AMSC back in August of 1997. It was held in Manila and Subic, Olongapo. The conference had the theme: "Hand Across Asia: Work Together For Better Health Care." Despite being only the second time that the Philippine medical students would host the AMSC, the 18th AMSC still emerged to be one of the largest and most successful at that time.

Representing Filipino Medical Students in the IFMSA

In a General Assembly held in Monterrey, Mexico back in 1999, AMSA-Philippines formally submitted its candidate membership to the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations or IFMSA. IFMSA is recognized by the United Nations and by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO recognizes IFMSA as the official forum for medical students around the world. After just one year, in a General Assembly held in Kuopio, Finland back in 2000, AMSA-Philippines was able to attain full membership and became the official Philippine National Member Organization of IFMSA and the official representative of the Filipino medical students to the Federation. At the same time, AMSA-Philippines is also the official AMSA chapter of AMSA-International to the Philippines, serving as the official representative of Filipino medical students to the biggest association of medical students in Asia.

The AMSA-Philippines constitution at this time adopted and modified most of the IFMSA Constitution for its own constitution, particularly adopting the Standing Committees of IFMSA as AMSA-Philippines' official standing committees as well.

In 2003, AMSA-Philippines did an amazing feat as it hosted back-to-back events from two of its international associations: it hosted the first ever IFMSA Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (IFMSA APRM) from March 22-25 and, immediately afterwards, from March 25-28, hosted for the first time a version of the East Asian Medical Students' Conference (EAMSC), an offshoot of the AMSC and was on its 16th year. Both conferences were held in the same hotel in Manila, Philippines. The 1st IFMSA APRM had the theme: "Health Promotion in Asia," while the 16th EAMSC had the theme: "Medicine and Ethics: Enhancing Global Commitment Towards Enlightened Patient Care" and was the first EAMSC that was no longer limited to certain countries and was opened to all AMSA chapters across Asia and the Pacific.

By 2004, the membership of AMSA-Philippines include medical students from 8 medical schools: EAC-CM, FEU-NRMF, OLFU-CM, UPCM, UPHSLaguna-CM, UPHS Rizal Jonelta-SOM, UST-FMS, and WVSU-CM.

In 2006, AMSA-Philippines officially organized its very own annual conference, the National Medical Students' Conference (NMSC), held in DAP, Tagaytay.

The New AMSA-Philippines

In 2008, AMSA-Philippines changed its structure and elected co-presidents to deal with the two international associations for which AMSA-Philippines is part of. Membership and activities of AMSA-Philippines, by this time, however, has greatly decreased, coupled with problems on finances. AMSA-Philippines shrank and by this time has only members from 4 different medical student organizations: Asian Medical Students Association-UST (AMSA-UST) of UST-FMS, Asian Medical Students Association-WVSU (AMSA-WVSU) of WVSU-CM, Philippine Medical Students' Association (PMSA) of OLFU-CM, and UP Medical Students for Social Responsibility-International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Philippines (UP MSSR-IPPNW) of UPCM.

By 2010, then medical students and co-presidents Dr. Renzo Guinto and Dr. Nicole Guevarra doubled efforts to restart networking to other medical students and build on the hardwork and efforts of past presidents in spreading the ideals of AMSA-Philippines. A new AMSA-Philippines member, Tambal of USLS-COMED (which was absorbed later on by the USLS COMED-Student Council) of USLS COMED, was welcomed by the end of the year and with other schools introduced and beginning to have interest with AMSA-Philippines. Also, this year, AMSA-Philippines was able to formally join and start the Asian Medical Students' Exchange Program in the Philippines with the first hosting of AMSEP Philippines.

By January of 2011, AMSA-Philippines has also bought and acquired its own domain name in the web and launched its official website: http://amsaphil.org. This started the sustained internet presence of AMSA-Philippines and the shift from using old ways of communication to the faster and more convenient ways brought by the flourishing of internet use.

Finally, AMSA-Philippines got its break when it successfully re-established the National Medical Students Conference (NMSC) back in March 2011, hosted by the UP MSSR-IPPNW in Manila, and was attended by more than 300 medical students from 14 medical schools. NMSC was revitalized and rebranded to create a medical students' conference that unites all medical students in enhancing medical education outside the confines of medical schools. NMSC Manila 2011 allowed AMSA-Philippines to meet and restructure the organization. It was decided that a new constitution will be drafted to replace the AMSA-Philippines' old adopted-from-IFMSA constitution. The revision was placed as the responsibility of the new incoming officers. More so, the structure of the executive board was once again changed with the concept of two co-presidents scrapped and replaced with one president and four vice-presidents: one for internals, one for externals, one to deal with AMSA-International as the Regional Coordinator, and the last to serve as liaison officer to IFMSA.

By July 2011, the new AMSA-Philippines 2011 Constitution was ratified by the five member-organizations. Through this constitution, the Council of Local Member Organizations (Council of LMOs) was created as the sole legislative body of AMSA-Philippines. The first Council of LMOs was composed of five organizations: AMSA-UST, AMSA-WVSU, PMSA (OLFU), UP MSSR-IPPNW, and USLS COMED-SC. The ratification of the 2011 constitution also provided AMSA-Philippines with a new membership process opened to all accredited medical student organizations, and gave way to the induction of two new LMOs: the Asian Medical Students Association-UERM (AMSA-UE) of UERM and the Asian Medical Students Association-SLU (AMSA-SLU later renamed as Future Physicians for Health and Human Rights or FPHHR) of SLU-SOM.

AMSA-Philippines was also registered again to the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-profit organization and is formally called the Asian Medical Students' Association - Philippines, Incorporated.

A logo of AMSA-Philippines was revised from the adopted AMSA-International logo to an original one. A contest was held which gathered logo entries from members of all LMOs and the Council voted upon the ones they deem more fit for the organization. The winning logo was created by Jose Pedrito Magno from UP and was declared the official logo of AMSA-Philippines, replacing the old one and completing the re-branding and revitalization of the organization. The new logo bears a Vinta, a distinct Philippine symbol from Mindanao that bears the colors and the unique sun of the Philippine flag, with the rod of Asclepius serving as the mast of the boat. This symbolizes the aim of AMSA-Philippines to extend the reach of quality and compassionate healthcare beyond seas and islands while bearing culture, nationalism, and compassion to fellowmen as its core identity as a doctor, and having evidence-based medical knowledge as the foundation of its service.

In 2012, AMSA-Philippines implemented for the first time an Election Protocol, ratified by the Council of LMOs, during the 4th NMSC, the NMSC UP Manila 2012, to elect the next set of Executive Board officers.

Also, AMSA-Philippines once again hosted AMSC in 2012 with the 33rd AMSC held in Manila, Philippines and primarily hosted by AMSA-UST. The theme of the conference was: "Surmounting Health Inequalities across Asia as One Region."

For the first time as well, the membership of AMSA-Philippines reached ten (10), with ten Local Member Organizations and five Candidate Member Organizations (CMO) from different medical schools as part of AMSA-Philippines. Three organizations became permanent members starting 2012: Advocates for Consciousness and Social Involvement Society (ACSIS) of ASMPH, Asian Medical Students Association-Jonelta (AMSA-Jonelta) of UPHS Dalta-Jonelta Foundation SOM, and the Doktor ni Juan, Doctors with Social Responsibility-UPM-SHS (DJDSR-UPM-SHS) of UPM-SHS.

AMSA-Philippines Roll of Past Presidents

Philippine Alliance of Medical Students (PAMS)
1989-1990: Josier Nisnisan (UPHSL)

Asian Medical Students' Association-Philippines (AMSA-Philippines)
1990-1993: Filipina T. Cevallos Schnabel (UST)
1993-1995: Emmanuel Perez (UST)
1995-1996: Geraldine Santos (UST)
1996-1997: Willie T. Santos (UST)
1997-1998: Gigi Sioson Ayala (UST)
1998-1999: Celeste Cheryll G. Lopez (UP)
1999-2000: Eugene T. Macalinga (UST)
2000-2001: Andrea S. Valle (UP)
2001-2002: Anna Sophia Victoria T. Salazar (UPHSL)
2002-2003: Joel H. Buenaventura (UST)
2003-2004: Angela Monique Barandino (WVSU)
2004-2005: Francis Paul V. Jagolino (EAC)
2005-2006: Rosita Alyssa M. Baua (UST)
2006-2007: Crischelle V. Magaspi (UST)
2007-2008: Annabelle Rae Chua (UST)
2008-2009: Tyrone Cabrera (UST) and Pura Angela Wee (UP)
2009-2010: Michael Lawrence Co (UP) and Maybelle Montarde (UST)
2010-2011: Nicole Guevara (WVSU) and Ramon Lorenzo Luis Guinto (UP)
2011-2012: Joanna Marie D. Choa (UST)
2012-2013: Ryan Joseph P. Magtibay (UP)
2013-2014: Greco Mark B. Malijan (UP)

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