History of CroMSIC

In SFR Yugoslavia there were 14 edical universities, which were a part of national student society for international activity and for medical student exchange under the name of YuMSEIC (Yugoslavian Medical Student’s Exchange International Committee). In the beginning of 1991, medical univirsities from Slovenia and Croatia parted their ways from membership of the former organization. That was the beginning of history of Croatian Medical Student International Committee, referred to in later years as CroMSIC.


At first, CroMSIC started their work on 2 medical univirsities – in Zagreb and in Rijeka, since Split and Osijek were still a part of regional study of medical studies in Zagreb that singled out in their own medical univirsities, in later years. Marin Paić, who was representative of medical university in Rijeka in YuMSEIC, was elected for the first president of the committee. One of the most significant activities that were conducted in collaboration with UNHCR and foreign students were vaccionations for refugees and soldiers from the front lines. At the time War Medicine Summer School was conducted.

We made promotional material (posters and invitation form) that we mailed on around 500 medical universities and colleges around the world. Since postage cost was extremely high, we sent most of the mail through the office of the then health minister assistant of Republic of Croatia, dr. Vesna Bosanac, which decided to help us. We drove the mail from Rijeka to Zagreb in cartoon boxes that my colleague, Igor Barković, and me payed a fine somewhere in Gorski kotar in his mother’s “stojadin”.

Marin Paić

Zagreb’s delegation, under Duška Dragun’s lead, for the first time since the partition of Croatian medical univirsities from YuMSEIC, attends IFMSA’s general assemly in Brazil, where CroMSIC is presented and exchanges are agreed on, for that period, basic and the only activity of the committee. Shortly after international recognition of Croatia, full membership of CroMSIC in IFMSA followed.


In the year 1994, under Igor Barković’s lead, CroMSIC turns to war topics and for the first time, Diving Medicine Summer School has been held. That summer school has been organized all the way until 1997, which made CroMSIC exceptionally proud of and promoted on international level, which greatly raised attractiveness of Croatia as an exchange country. In that period, exchange Committee (Committee for professional exchange, today) for CroMSIC was lead by Goran Hauser, who served as a president of Rijeka’s FOSS as well, while Committee for elective exchange (Committee for research exchange, today) was lead by Marko Zelić.

In March of 1995, in Alexandria, CroMSIC gets to organize EOM (Exchange Officers Meeting), one of the 2 important yearly events on IFMSA’s level. However in August of the same year, on IFMSA’s general assembly in Barcelona, 

General Assembly in Rijeka

some of national representatives strongly disagree on that decision due to doubts in student’s safety the then war enveloped Croatia. It is said that Barković, in order to convince members of the assembly that the situation in Croatia will, soon, be calmed, brought an article on plenary session with Bill Clinton’s statement titled: “Operation Storm will solve problems in Croatia”. That argument was sufficient that IFMSA, ultimately, holds the Exchange Officers Meeting in Croatia.


In the year 1996, the role of CroMSIC’s president is taken by Juraj Arbanas. In March, Exchange Officers Meeting was held in Opatija, as the first significant international meeting, which was attended by numerous representatives from Europe and the rest of the world. In June 1996, Refugees Project Summer School was organized in Rijeka and Zagreb. The same year, for the first time, CroMSIC formally divides to subsidiaries, Zagreb and Rijeka. In 1997 Osijek will join these subsidiaries as well. In 1998 and 1999, Summer School of Traumatology has been held under Tomislav Del Vechi’s lead.

Currently, CroMSIC spreads its focus on activities revolving around general population and does various projects in the medical-educative field. In 1996 Selena Šainović and Anja Čulev start to develop various projects around HIV/AIDS prevention and they represented the project on IFMSA’s general assembly in Egypt. Shortly after, CroMSIC forms a special board that acts under the name of Committee for AIDS and sexual transmitted diseases (Standing Committee for Reproductive Health and AIDS). In those years, Committee for Locational Refugees (later on, Committee for Refugees and Peace, currently Standing Committee for Human Rights and Peace).