Our history

Following a gathering of emergency physicians at the first international conferences on emergency medicine in 1986 and 1988, and the meeting of a fledgling IFEM in 1989, IFEM was officially launched in 1991 with the signing of a Charter. Founding members from Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States of America shared a vision of fostering the worldwide development of emergency medicine as a specialty and improving emergency medical care globally.

As emergency medicine continued to develop across the globe, membership of IFEM was sought by other organizations that represent emergency medicine in their countries. 

In 1999 to recognize those individuals who have contributed significantly to the development of emergency medicine in their country and to the development of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine, the award of the Order of the IFEM was created. This was followed in 2000 by the introduction the IFEM Humanitarian Award, which is presented to either an individual or organization where work has been conducted that has a major humanitarian or public health benefit. 


Celebrating 30 years

In 2021, IFEM celebrated its 30th anniversary. From signing the Charter with four founding member countries in 1991, IFEM has grown to include Members from a diverse range of countries across all regions of the globe.

To celebrate, we spoke to a few of IFEMs Founding and Past Presidents and asked them what their fondest memories of IFEM were, what IFEM achievements they're most proud of, and why IFEM plays such a critical role in advancing global emergency medical care into the future.