The Montreal World Health Organization Simulation was founded under the name McWHO (McGill World Health Organization Simulation) in 2007 by Martin Smoragiewicz, a McGill Medical Student, who was deeply concerned by the lack of recognition by his colleagues of the social determinants of health. Equally aware of the many professionals, both in and out of the healthcare field, who influence health outcomes, Martin wanted to develop an event that allowed his colleagues to challenge their assumptions, broaden their perspectives and develop inter-professional relationships. Martin developed the concept of a simulation of the World Health Organization with the idea in mind that it would offer participants the opportunity to step out into the world as a citizen of the global village while discussing health issues in a political, social and economic context. Participants would assume the role of a country’s ambassador to the WHO and work with their peers to develop resolution papers that address global health problems. In 2009, McWHO’s name was changed to MonWHO to reflect the population of students who participated in the conference and sat on the Secretariat. Today, MonWHO is proud to welcome delegates from North America and Europe, who are pursuing a variety of studies including Medicine, Engineering, Economics and Law.
Since its inception, MonWHO has been hosted with the support of the McGill International Health Initiative (MIHI), the student branch of McGill’s Global Health Program. MonWHO also served as the official meeting spot for the Global Health Advocates of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) for 2009 and 2010. As of 2011, MonWHO is an officially recognized transnational project of the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA).