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International Medical Colleges and Academies

The profuse collection of information available to individuals on the Internet lays challenge to the need for International Societies.

However, nothing can be further from the truth.

There are enormous advantages to direct face-to-face links between clinicians with similar specialist interests, both as individuals and in groups. Listening to and questioning experts in your field who are addressing current problems, increases your understanding and updates you on research initiatives. Such information leads you to examine your own practice and to identify areas you may wish to change.

Direct communication with colleagues presents an important time for active discussion and in-depth exchange of ideas, overcoming any language barriers, and resolving uncertainties and misunderstandings that are not easily sorted over the Internet. Building up trust in this way establishes links, pathways and networks for collaboration in clinical studies and other research activities, extending to all those managing health care. Such a framework for interaction can lead to sustainable development, overcoming isolation: the outcome of the whole far exceeding the sum of the individual parts.

Once established, such networks can benefit from the digital revolution, and use the power of the Internet to address inequality and promote the global delivery of health care.

Social interaction arising through Societies is another valuable element – personal links and friendships extend camaraderie well beyond clinical and specialist boundaries. These overcome differences of language, race, creed and nationality. It is through such links that the worldwide problems of disease, ignorance and poverty can be examined, unfettered by cultural differences or national boundaries.

Information exchange ignites the desire for communal education and the thirst for knowledge: from knowledge comes wisdom, and the search for health, social justice and peace.

Professor John Lumley
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