Conference: “A refugee visits the doctor – the refugee both as patient and as health care professional.”

Name of the activity: Congres: “Komt een vluchteling bij de dokter – de vluchteling als arts en patiënt.” Conference: “A refugee visits the doctor – the refugee both as patient and as health care professional.”

Country/NMO: Netherlands (IFMSA-NL)

Program: Ethics & Human Rights in Health

Contact information: [email protected] , +31 6 26 20 88 35

Type of the activity: Education. Education on health issues for specific societal groups, either in the form of projects (set of tasks for a certain group over a fixed period of time), events (something notable that happens) or conferences (form meeting about ideas related to a particular topic, usually over several days).

General description:

On the 9th of February 2019, IFMSA-NL will host a conference in the Erasmus Medical Centre. The target audience is (future) healthcare professionals. The main topics of the conference are the refugee who seeks care in the Dutch healthcare system and the refugee who wants to start working, or studying, in the Dutch healthcare system. With general lectures and workshops, we will discuss various topics, such as the position refugees and undocumented people hold in the Dutch healthcare system; specific laws and rules regarding this group of people, the struggle they face when trying to access care; the process a refugee must go through to resume his medical profession or to start studying here.

Focus area:

Medical Ethics (Patient Centered Care, Good Medical Practice, direct doctor-patient relationship)

Problem statement:

Refugees in the Netherlands struggle with approaching the healthcare system and receiving adequate care. Causes are lingual and cultural barriers, different rules and legislations for asylum seekers and undocumented migrants and a lack of knowledge that doctors and healthcare professionals have of these issues. These topics are lacking in medical curricula. Furthermore, refugees struggle with exercising their profession and resuming their study, as foreign diplomas are often not acknowledged.

Target groups:

Medical students, Healthcare Students, Doctors, Other health professionals, Migrants, Refugees


General population, Migrants, Refugees

Objectives and indicators of success:

-Educate (future) healthcare professionals about refugees’ position in healthcare, the organisation of healthcare for refugees and undocumented in the Netherlands and the struggles of refugees approaching healthcare, and provide them with the skills to deliver adequate care to these groups.

-80% of the participants will gain knowledge regarding the struggles a refugee or undocumented person faces when approaching healthcare.

-70% of the participating students and 30% of the participating healthcare professionals will learn new skills, enabling them to deliver the best care possible to this patients group.

-90% of the participants gain knowledge about legislations of the healthcare system regarding refugees or undocumented people

-Create awareness about the process a refugee has to go through to resume his medical education or profession.

-At the conference, at least 3 people will share their story about resuming work or study in the Netherlands.

-70% of the participants will gain knowledge about what it takes for a refugee or undocumented person to resume study or work.

-At least 50 people will do a simulation, to experience how it is to arrive in a foreign country as a refugee.


We will organize a one-day conference for medical and healthcare students, doctors and other health care professionals, that tackles these topics in many different ways: through lectures, workshops, sessions, a panel discussion and a simulation. Different parts of the program will be facilitated by both many different external partners with an expertise in refugees’ health or guidance (also see the question about external partners) and by trainers and facilitators from IFMSA-NL. We will uphold the following agenda:

09:30 – 10:00: Start and walk in

10:00 – 10:20: Opening

10:20 – 11:30: Lectures

11:40 – 12:30: Round of parallel session #1

12:45 – 13:35: Round of parallel session #2

13:35 – 14:20: Lunch break

14:30 – 15:20: Round of parallel session #3

15:35 – 16:25: Round of parallel session #4 // Panel discussion

16:35 – 17:30: Wrap-up and closure

Plans for evaluation:

We will have 3 moments of impact measurement: before, straight after and 3 months after the conference. All participants will have to fill in 3 (online) questionnaires in order to receive a certificate:

1. Prior to the conference we will send a baseline assessment to all participants, about the topics that will be discussed during the conference. We will add a question about the content of each lecture and workshop to this assessment, in consultation with the facilitators.

2. Straight after the conference, the same questionnaire as the baseline assessment will be send to the participants. With this measurement we will see if the participants’ knowledge has increased.

3. 3 months after the conference, we will send a last and shorter questionnaire to the participants. This is to see whether the provided information lasted for a longer period of time and actually made a difference in the life and practice of the participant. By making this form shorter, we expect more responses.

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