The Professional Exchange program is a full educational program offering clerkships to medical students abroad. Since the very beginning, in 1951, it was evident that exchange of medical students would be one of the main fields of action in IFMSA. As early as 1952, a total of 463 students spent a period of practice abroad, and today, it continues to be the backbone of the Federation and constitutes its longest running project. Annually, around 13.000 students from more than 90 countries travel around the world to discover new health systems, new cultures and to enhance their global health and intercultural understanding.
The Standing Committee on Professional Exchange (SCOPE) was founded in 1951 and is one of the first standing committees within IFMSA. It started small, beginning with only 8 European countries, but since then has grown into one of the largest student-run exchange programs in the world, with around 13.000 medical students participating every year from more than 100 National Member Organizations. The SCOPE exchange program is a quality educational and cultural experience organized entirely by medical students with the help of their medical faculties.
The aim of SCOPE is to promote cultural understanding and co-operation amongst medical students and all health professionals, through the facilitation of international student exchanges. SCOPE aims to give all students the opportunity to learn about global health, and attains this partly by having its exchanges accredited by medical faculties across the world.
All medical students are entitled to participate in a four-week clerkship in a chosen clinical or pre-clinical field of medicine. The language of instruction is either English or the language of the host country. In order to complete the clerkship, the exchange student must show adequate knowledge of the English language or the native language of the host country. Clerkships are purely educational and students will not receive a salary. During the exchange, the student has the chance to observe a different health care system and learn from foreign tutors. All students are assigned to a physician supervisor, who acts as a tutor and mentor.
Exchange Contracts are signed between two participating National Member Organizations and are of two types:
In exchange of a participation fee, the incoming student is offered a one-month clerkship at the hospital and department of his or her choice, lodging at a student facility or with a host family, and at least one meal per day.
For more information about IFMSA Exchanges, visit Exchange the World Section.
Exchanges Profile Book: SCOPE and SCORE international teams created the Exchanges Profile Book, which is currently available in 3 other languages (Spanish, Portuguese, French), in addition to its original English version. The Profile Book provides readers with a comprehensive overview of the exchanges system within the IFMSA and gives statistics on the programs.
Endorsement of exchanges: The World Federation of Medical Education, the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA), and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) – among others – recognizing the academic quality and the professional organization of our program.
If you are a student and have questions about your exchange, please contact the responsible Exchange Officer for IFMSA Exchanges in your university or country.
If you are a medical student that want to get involved and learn more Subscribe to ifmsa-scope mailing list by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also join our WhatsApp Group: SLEMSA-SCOPE.