Hippokrates Exchanges are at the heart of our organisation. You choose your destination and contact your National Exchange Coordinator for assistance.
Feel free to contribute to our exchange program as a host.
The broader FM360 Exchange worldwide.
What is the Hippokrates Exchange?
The Hippokrates Exchange is an exchange program for medical doctors specializing in Family Medicine/General Practice and junior Family Doctors/General Practitioners (within 5 years of completing specialty training). The program is supported by WONCA Europe and by the European Academy of Teachers in General Practice (EURACT).
The aim of Hippokrates is to encourage exchange and mobility among young doctors in the course of their professional training thus providing a broader perspective to the concepts of Family Medicine at both professional and personal levels.
Participants of the program acquire an insight into the context of General Practice in the primary healthcare system of other European countries either by hosting an exchange participant or visiting a GP practice in another country. Through this they gain knowledge that will inspire them to undertake an active part in the development of Family Medicine at all levels.
Furthermore the program enhances the collaboration among national colleges of Family Medicine and the recruitment of young professionals to these.
At the individual level the acquisitions are numerous: an international experience in a vocational setting, improving knowledge and skills, inspirational introduction to methods of professional development for lifelong learning, improving language skills, creating new friendships.
The duration of an Exchange is normally two weeks; in some cases 1 week is acceptable. During this time the visitor will obtain an introduction to the aspects and the role of Family Medicine in the respective country by shadowing all activities of the Host Practice. The visitor should also meet, follow and exchange views with the local trainees specializing in Family Medicine and will be encouraged to gain insight into local resources and quality improvement activities as well as local healthcare structures.
Hippokrates was launched under the auspices of EURACT by Dr. Per Kallestrup (Denmark) in the year 2000 at the 6th European Conference on General Practice & Family Doctors (WONCA Europe) in Vienna, Austria.
In the pilot phase of the program there were 5 participating countries: Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom
Since its inception new participating countries have joined and more are still joining as the program expands. Currently the program offers 29 participating National Exchange Coordinators within Europe.
National Exchange Coordinators are appointed by the national Vasco da Gama Movement Council Representative, who in turn is selected through the country’s national college of family medicine / general practice.
In the participating countries a number of General Practitioners and their Practices have been selected to be Host Practices. These practices are the cornerstones of the program inviting visiting Medical Doctors specializing in Family Medicine from the other participating countries.
Apply to be a Host
A Host can be a General Practitioner with educational experience who would like to host an international GP Trainee or Junior GP (< 5 years of specialization) in their GP practice.
Hosts should ensure that they have approval of other members of the GP practice / clinic who will be affected by an exchange.
Visitors are strongly encouraged to undertake bilateral exchanges; therefore trainees may wish to offer their practice as a host practice. In order to do so the trainee needs to agree with their trainer that the trainer will act as the principle host for the exchange.
In order to upload your GP practice information to the VdGM website contact your National Exchange Coordinator who will upload your practice info on the website.
The Hosts also need to be accepted by the National Exchange Coordinator and national college of family medicine / general practice in order to ensure the level of quality of this program.
Apply to Be a Visitor
In the ‘Participating Countries’ section you will find an overview of some of the participating countries.
Once you have selected the country you would like to visit please register on the VdGM website. Once you register you will then have access to the ‘Hippokrates Dashboard’ section of the website. It is currently free to register.
Under the ‘Hippokrates Dashboard’ section choose the ‘Host Practices’ page where you will find a list of hosting practices for some of the countries.
Please contact the National Exchange Coordinator from your country first, whose contact details are in the ‘Membership’ section. Please don´t contact directly neither the Host nor the National Exchange Coordinator from the country you wish to go on your exchange.
Please download the template and follow the instructions as provided. The Hippokrates template MUST be used in the planning stage BEFORE the exchange and AFTER the exchange, according to the timetable specified, otherwise the exchange will not be eligible under the Hippokrates Exchange Program.
Language of Exchange
The common language of the Hippokrates Programme is English, however, it is an asset if the visiting doctor is capable of speaking the language of the hosting country. If you are not fluent in the host country’s language we strongly recommend going on a language course before the exchange.
You will be expected to hold a telephone or Skype conversation with your visitor/host during the initial stages of organising the exchange BEFORE the exchange is confirmed. You may find that indeed English (or other language) is your common language. This is acceptable as long as your host is happy that he/she will be able to translate where necessary.
If a reasonable level of communication between the visitor and host is not possible we do not recommend the exchange takes place.
Where possible private accommodation is arranged with the help of local hosts. However it is ultimately the responsibility of the Visitor to organise their own accommodation.
In some countries National Exchange Coordinators may request for a small deposit to be made before the exchange is organised. This will be refunded once the exchange has been completed and all documents submitted. This is to ensure commitment on behalf of the participant.
The Leonardo da Vinci Programme is part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme, which funds many different types of activities of varying scales. Under the ‘Leonardo Mobility Programme’. In 2010 it awarded a grant to support a number of UK and Slovenian outgoing Hippokrates exchange participants. These awards have now been allocated to applicants within the UK and Slovenia. In 2011 the Czech Republic and Austria have been awarded Leonardo Funding and are currently selecting applicants to participate. In 2012 Leonardo Funding have been granted to Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland and UK which are now advertising for bursary. If you are interested please contact your National Exchange Coordinator.
If you would like to apply for Leonardo funding on behalf of your country please find more information on the programme here: http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelong-learning-programme/doc82_en.htm
Host: The responsible doctor for hosting the visiting doctor in their practice.
Visitor / Outgoing / Incoming Doctor: The doctor visiting from another country to observe general practice in the host practice.
National Exchange Coordinator: Coordinates exchange activities in their country. He/she is appointed by the VdGM Council Representative or is the same person as the VdGM Council Representative of that country.
VdGM Council Representative: Is appointed by the national college of that country and recognised by the VdGM Council:
VdGM Hippokrates Exchange Coordinator: Coordinates VdGM exchange activities by liaising with the VdGM Council Representatives and National Exchange Coordinators:
VdGM Exchange Team: Consists of the team of all National Exchange Coordinators, VdGM Exchange Liaison Person and Senior Hippokrates Coordinator.
National Exchange Team: A team appointed nationally to support the National Exchange Coordinator to work across the country supporting exchanges at local level. It is made up of Regional Exchange Coordinators.
Regional Exchange Coordinator /Lead: Work at local level to coordinate VdGM exchanges. They form part of the National Exchange Team, which is led by the National Exchange Coordinator of the country.
Terms and Conditions
The Hippokrates Exchange Programme is facilitated through the Vasco da Gama Movement website. The purpose of hosting the project on the VdGM website is to provide a platform for the smooth operation of the programme and certify the educational value of exchanges.
VdGM.eu will function as follows
- Provide a listing service for Host Practices.
- Provide a browsing function for prospective Visitors to the Host Practices.
- Provide a notification system for the Host Practices of expressions of interest by the Visitor (including profile and contact details).
- Once a Host Practice is happy to explore the prospect of a Visit they will initiate contact with the Visitor through the personal details supplied.
- At this juncture the responsibility for the organisation of the Visit will depend on the Host Practice and the Visitor.
- The Vasco da Gama Movement will not accept any responsibility for any disputes or adverse outcomes of any description arising from this process.
- The Vasco da Gama Movement will not intervene in any disputes regarding the completion or otherwise of the Educational Programme.
- The VdGM will endeavour to recruit Hosts that have an educational ethos.
- The Hippokrates programme can ONLY be accessed by registered members of VdGM.
- This is an observational programme only. Visitors are not sanctioned under any circumstance to engage in any clinical care or management of patients.
- While it would be desirable for the Host Practice to either provide or recommend accommodation for the Visitor, it is not obligatory and remains the ultimate responsibility of the Visitor. Similarly, all travel arrangemets remain the responsibility of the Visitor.
- The VdGM will provide a Certificate of Completion provided;
- The learning objectives & educational programme agreed by the Host & Visitor have been approved by the visitor’s National Exchange Coordinator 12 weeks before the exchange.
- Based on the original learning objectives, the visitor’s learning outcomes are approved by the Host and the Visitor’s National Exchange Coordinator no more than 1 week after the exchange.
- Hosts and visitors complete the required feedback form, no later than 1 week after the exchange.
- Visitors submit the required (min.) 500 word report, no later than 2 weeks after the exchange.
- No adverse events have taken place.
- Hosts have the option to submit their learning outcomes and a written report, however this is not obligatory.
- The Confirmation of Exchange can be used as evidence that you plan to participate on an Exchange.
The Certificate of Completion can be use as evidence of participation on the programme.
Following the Visitor sending the Host the completed ‘Visitor Contact Template’ the following steps should be undertaken.
Step 1: Completion of the Learning Objectives by Visitor
The Learning Objectives should be completed by the Visitor. The Visitor should e-mail the Learning Objectives to the Host for review.
This should happen 16 weeks before the exchange.
Step 2: Completion of Educational Programme by Host
The Host reviews the Learning Objectives and considers if they are appropriate. If so he/she devises anEducational Programme, signs the pre-exchange declaration and sends the documents to the Visitor.
This should happen 15 weeks before the exchange.
Step 3: Confirmation of proposed the Exchange
The pre-exchange declaration is then signed by Visitor and the Learning Objectives & Educational Programme documents emailed by the Visitor to the Visitor’s National Exchange Coordinator for approval.
This should happen 14 weeks before the exchange.
If documents are in order the Visitor’s National Exchange Coordinator will confirm that the exchange is going to take place.
This should happen 12 weeks before the exchange.
WITHOUT THESE STEPS THE YOU WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PARTICIPATE ON A HIPPOKRATES EXCHANGE
Step 4: The Exchange takes place
Step 5: Completion of Learning Outcomes & Final Report by Visitor
The Learning Outcomes should be completed by the Visitor. These should be reviewed and the post-exchange declaration signed by the Host to confirm that the specified learning outcomes have been met. The completed form should then be sent by the Visitor to the Visitor’s National Exchange Coordinator for approval. A copy of the Final Report should be sent to the VdGM Exchange Liaison Person (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This should happen within 1 week of the exchange.
Step 6: Certificate of Completion
The Host’s National Exchange Coordinator should notify the Visitor’s National Exchange Coordinator of any problems. The Visitor’s National Exchange Coordinator must notify the VdGM Exchange Liaison Person that the exchange met the educational requirements of the Hippokrates Exchange Programme. Thereafter the VdGM Exchange Liaison Person will issue to the Visitor and Host their Certificate of Completion.
This should happen within 2 weeks of the exchange.
Timetable of Exchanges
|Timing Guidelines||Visitor||Host||Visitor’s National Exchange Coordinator (VNEC)||Host’s National Exchange Coordinator (HNEC)|
|>18 Weeks Before||Contact potential Host via VdGM website or through National Exchange Co-ordinator||Reply < 14 days of potential visitor query if you wish to continue|
|>18 Weeks Before||Send ‘Visitor Contact Template’ to the Host|
|>18 Weeks Before||Agree on provisional dates to visit||Agree on provisional dates to host|
|> 17 Weeks|
|Hold telephone/skype conversation with your potential host to discuss the proposed Learning Objectives & Educational Programme||Hold telephone/skype conversation with your potential visitor to discuss the proposed Learning Objectives & Educational Programme|
|>16 Weeks Before||Send the completed’Learning Objectives to the Host|
|>15 Weeks Before||Completed Educational Programme Template to the Visitor and sign the ‘Pre-exchange Declaration’|
|>15 Weeks Before||Enquire about necessary travel and accommodation arrangements||Offer ideas on accommodation and travel arrangements for the visitor||Offer ideas on accommodation and travel arrangements for the visitor|
|>15 Weeks Before||Consider undertaking a medical language course|
|> 14 Weeks|
|Countersign the ‘Pre-Exchange Declaration’ and send the completed Learning Objectives & Educational Programme the Visitor’s National Exchange Coordinator.||Acknowledge receipt of the completed Learning Objectives & Educational Programme Template.|
|> 13 Weeks|
|Provide your host with the credentials he/she requests.||Review the visitors credentials and decide whether you satisfied with these in order to proceed with the exchange.||Review proposed Learning Objectives & Educational Programme. If needed advise a revision of these by >12 weeks before the exchange.|
|Approve the Learning Objectives & Educational programme OR Advise postponing the exchange until these are of an adequate standard.|
|Request leave from your employer|
|Confirm with the Host & VNEC if the exchange is going to take place||Confirm with the Visitor & HNEC if the exchange is going to take place||Contact the HNEC to confirm the exchange details||Contact the VNEC to confirm the exchange details|
|If an exchange is cancelled due to the visitor <12 weeks before enquire why this has happened||If an exchange is cancelled due to the host <12 weeks before enquire why this has happened|
|> 8 Weeks|
|Finalise travel arrangements||Offer ideas on a social programme for the visitor||Offer ideas on a social programme for the visitor & host|
|> 8 Weeks|
|> 8 Weeks|
|Take out adequate travel insurance|
|> 2 Weeks|
|Prepare a presentation on your own primary care system|
|< 1 Week After||Reflect on your original Learning Objectives and actual Learning Outcomes and discuss them with your host. Complete the Learning Outcomes and Final Report (min 500 words) and submit these to your host for review||Evaluate the Visitor’s Learning Outcomes and Final Report. If you are satisfied with these sign the ‘Post-Exchange Declaration’ and send this back to the Visitor Reflect on your own learning outcomes.|
If you wish, write a report on your hosting experience
|Inform the VNEC of any problems during the exchange|
|< 1 Week After||Complete the feedback form||Complete the feedback form|
|< 2 Weeks After||Countersign the ‘Post-Exchange Declaration’ and send the final completed ‘Hippokrates Exchange Programme Template’ to the VNEC. Also send a copy of your Final Report (only) to the HNEC and VdGM Hippokrates Exchange Co-ordinator (email@example.com)|
|< 2 Weeks After||Review the Learning Outcomes signed by the Visitor & Host|
|< 2 Weeks After||Ensure the Visitor’s written report has been completed|
|< 2 Weeks After||Ensure feedback forms are completed|
|< 2 Weeks After||Offer any relevant feedback to the visitor||Offer any relevant feedback to the host|
|< 2 Weeks After||Once satisfied with Learning Outcomes and Reports notify the VdGM Hippokrates Exchange Co-ordinator & Senior Hippokrates Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org); who will issue a certificate of completion to Visitor and Host < 3 weeks of the exchange finalising|
|Ongoing||Seek to publish your Final Report in local, national and/or international publications.||Help facilitate national and international publication of Hippokrates exchange reports written by incoming and outgoing visiting doctors||Help facilitate national and international publication of Hippokrates exchange reports written by incoming and outgoing visiting doctors|
|Ongoing||Record your video journey! Take a few minutes and send us a few words on your experience. For more information, please see here.|
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