Professional Exchanges

logo_scope_cmyk_squaredWelcome to SCOPE!

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, more than 13.000 students from 90 countries travel around the world to discover new health systems, new cultures and to enhance their global health and intercultural understanding.

The first standing committee within IFMSA was the Standing Committee on Professional Exchange (SCOPE) in 1951. It started small, beginning with only 8 European countries, but since then has grown into one of the most largest student-run exchange program in the world, with more than 1.5 million medical students from 98 National Member Organizations participating until today. The SCOPE exchange program is a quality educational and cultural experience organized entirely by medical students with the help of their medical faculties. Since 2003 until today, 103.354 students went on exchange with SCOPE, in 98 National Member Organizations and 923 Local Committees & universities around the world.

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.


  1. To increase the mobility and to widen the horizon of medical students worldwide;
  2. To provide medical students with the possibility to experience healthcare in another culture with different health and education systems, and to learn how differences in culture and believes are of influence;
  3. To create possibilities for medical students to learn about global health issues, primary health concerns and basic epidemiology of the host country, and how it differs from their home country;
  4. To contribute to the education of a future health professionals with a global vision and to contribute to medical students personal development, self-reliance and openness in becoming future health professionals;
  5. To provide students with the chance to improve their medical knowledge, their vision on medical issues and their practical knowledge depending on the regulations of the host country;
  6. To facilitate the connection of medical students and other health professionals and to provide a platform for future cooperation amongst medical students with each other and with health professionals across the globe;
  7. To maintain affordable professional exchange tuition through its governing body to ensure that medical students within the National Member Organizations can participate in the exchanges with a minimal financial burden;
  8. To make sure students are aware of the ethical aspects regarding their exchange to assure the burden on society, patients, the recourses and the healthcare system is as limited as possible;
  9. To promote tolerance towards differences and similarities within health and towards patients regardless of their sex, religion, or believes.

How the SCOPE Exchanges Work

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:

  1. Bilateral Contracts: where the participating countries exchange two students (one from each country) between themselves.
  2. Unilateral Contracts: where a single student participates in the exchange.

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.

Example of recent achievements

Exchanges Profile Book: SCOPE and SCORE international teams created the Exchanges Profile Book, which will shortly be available in four languages, in addition to its original english version. The Profile Book provides readers with a comprehensive overview of the exchanges system within the IFMSA and give 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.

Important Documents

SCOPE International Team 2015-2016

Regional Assistant for Africa: Chioma Audrey Amugo
Regional Assistant for Americas: Rodrigo Enrique Roa
Regional Assistant for Asia-Pacific: Sefrina Trisadi
Regional Assistant for the Eastern Mediterranean Region: Basma Lahmer
Regional Assistant for Europe: Maud Harding
General Assistant: Amr Diaa Ajlan
Director for Professional Exchanges: Omar Cherkaoui (

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.

Join Us Online!

If you are a medical student that want to get involved and learn more Subscribe to ifmsa-scope mailinglist by sending a blank email to

You can also join our Facebook Group: IFMSA-SCOPE.

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