(Please click on the Name of the Standing Committee above for more information about respectively SCOPE and SCORE)
IFMSA runs two types of exchanges programs, professional and research exchanges, that are both endorsed by the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME), the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA), the Federation of European Neurosciences Societies (FENS) and the European Society for Emergency Medicine (EuSEM).
In a post-World War II setting, IFMSA founders came together in a period of history where growing disparities in the socioeconomic and political arenas challenged the health and wellbeing of people around the world. IFMSA was created to foster cooperation and collaboration among medical students by breaking down social barriers through promoting opportunities for dialogue and creating clinical exchanges via the Standing Committee On Professional Exchange (1951). As for the Standing Committee on Research Exchange (SCORE), it was founded in 1991 as the Standing Committee on Electives Exchanges (SCOEE). Because the term Electives was too confusing, in 1998 the name was changed back to SCORE.
Each year, more than 13.000 medical students embark on a journey to explore health care delivery and health systems in different cultural and social settings. This is achieved by providing a network of locally and internationally active students that globally facilitate access to research and clinical exchange projects, which usually last four weeks. Through our programming and opportunities, we aim to develop both culturally sensitive students and skilled researchers intent on shaping the world of science in the upcoming future. Our exchanges programs are key promoter of intercultural understanding and cooperation amongst medical students and health professionals, which much needed in our globalized world as IFMSA believes.
All exchanges last for four weeks, and are handled in a bilateral basis. The students are offered a spot in the department or the research project of their choice, as well as lodging, accommodation and oftenly a social program. They are assigned a tutor during their entire exchange, that make sure that the students are actively participating and improving their skills.
A lot of measures are taken to provide a good academic quality of the program. The most important one being the student handbook, that is a book of records of the tasks performed by the student and that also contains checklist of skills of certain departments. Some of those checklists have been developed in the previous years in collaboration with WONCA, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and the World Federation of Neurology.
The other second important measure is the official certificate, that is only delivered to the students if all the requirements are met, if the student handbook is fulfilled, and if at least 80% attendance of the clerkship is secured. This certificate is signed by both the tutor and hosting exchange officer, and allows most of the student to get credits from their home university.
For any questions related to exchanges, students are invited to read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page (Click here) or to contact their respective local professional exchanges officers (LEO) and/or their local research exchanges officers (LORE).
If you would like to get to know more about our Exchange Program, and get some important statistics, please read our Exchanges Profile Book (Click here).