IFMSA and WONCA launches the new Student’s Handbook for Professional Exchanges in Primary Care

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – During the past months, the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) and WONCAs Family Medicine 360 (FM360) program have been collaborating in order to review the learning outcomes and create a checklist for the IFMSA Students Handbook for Professional Exchanges in Family Medicine & Primary Care.

Every year IFMSA offers more than 13.000 medical students the opportunity to participate in a professional or research exchange, in one of more than 90 countries, making it one of the worlds oldest and biggest student exchange program. The main purpose of the program is to promote cultural understanding and co-operation amongst medical students and all health professionals, through the facilitation of international student exchanges. IFMSA 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.

Placing the academic quality of its exchanges as one of its top priorities, IFMSA has developed handbooks to guide the students during their exchange and maximize their learning outcomes from the experience. A handbook contains specific recommendations for the students, as well as for the sending and the hosting tutors that will guide the students upon arrival. It also contains a general checklist with the list of tasks to be completed by the students during their exchange in order to get the exchange certificate.

Based on WONCA (World Organization of Family Doctors) Working Party on Educations checklist and the experience of the FM360 program, IFMSA and WONCA developed a checklist that would reflect the learning opportunities that are unique to Family Medicine & Primary Care. As such, the activity checklist includes the general medical competencies (such as the ability for taking history, physical examination and interpretation of medical exams), as well as organizational and ethical skills, such as differences in diagnosis procedures and treatments related to incidence and prevalence of diseases in primary care, as compared to secondary and tertiary care; interventions in primary, up to quaternary prevention; the understanding of the health care system, the position and the impact of Primary Care as well as the collaboration with other professionals, both in healthcare and other institutions.

We hope that the new Handbook will ensure a standardised minimum quality and content of Primary Care exchanges, as well as motivate more medical students to choose Primary Care as their medical specialty and that it will also facilitate intercultural knowledge exchange worldwide.

The new Handbook is accessible through this link.

The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) envisions a world in which all medical students unite for global health and are equipped with the knowledge, skills and values to take on health leadership roles locally and globally. Founded in 1951, IFMSA today represents a network of 1.3 million medical students through its 127 national member organizations in 119 countries. More information can be found at:

About Family Medicine 360 (FM360)
Family Medicine 360 is WONCAs global exchange program for those in Family Medicine training and in the first five years of Family Medicine practice. Established in 2013, it has been growing in popularity ever since, but it is still lacking the collaboration of potential hosts.

To learn more about the program, please visit:



Mustafa Ozan Alpay
IFMSA Vice-President for PR and Communications
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +90.546.269.0935


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