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Standing Committee on Professional Exchange - 60th Anniversary Edition

7 Interview with the first SCOPE Director - 8 Neurology in Hungary - 10 Internal medicine in Chile - 12 General Surgery & Transplantology in Poland - 13 Gynaecology & Obstetrics in Germany - and many other interesting articles!


Prof essional E xc hange


was founded in May 1951 and is run by medical students, for medical students, on a non-profit basis. IFMSA is officially recognised as a nongovernmental organisation within the United Nations’systemandhasofficialrelationswiththe WorldHealthOrganisation.Itistheinternational forumformedicalstudents,andoneofthelargest student organisations in the world.

Imprint Editor in Chief

Nadya Nakova, Bulgaria

Content Editors

Alexandra Peñate, El Salvador Jennifer Velez, Chile Joanna Marie D. Choa, Philippines Nnamdi Anyim, Nigeria Marta Wiśniewska, Poland Maria Aroca, Catalonia Spain Philip Hitov, Bulgaria Yousuf Dursun, Turkey Yousif Widaatalla, Sudan


Madelein van der Stouwe, The Netherlands


Phillip Chao, New Zealand Laura Bertani, USA Charley Pearl UK Nienke van Adel, The Netherlands

The mission of IFMSA

Special thanks to

is to offer future physicians a comprehensiveintroductionto global health issues. Through ourprogramsandopportunities, we develop culturally sensitive students of medicine, intent on influencing the transnational inequalitiesthatshapethehealth of our planet.

Madelein van der Stouwe, The Netherlands Magrit Jarlsdatter Hovind, Norway Pablo Vega, Chile


International Federation of Medical Students` Associations General Secretariat: IFMSA c/o WMA B.P. 63 01212 Ferney-Voltaire, France Phone: +33 450 404 759 Fax : +33 450 405 937 Email : Homepage : Contacts : Printed in Denmark





Anniversary edition of PeriSCOPE


The Collaboration with Medical Associatoins


Back in History


Neurology in Hungary

Words from the Editor in Chief

Message from the Standing Committee Director for Professional Exchange

Word of the Liaison Officer to Medical and Research Associations

An interview with the first SCOPE Director, by the current SCOPE Director

From Tartarstan, Russia to Hungary


Internal Medicine in Chile

14 12

General Surgery & Transplantology in Poland


Gynaecology & Obstetrics in Germany


Introducing... Global Health Education to Exchange


European Regonal Meeting




Fostering Student Exchanges in Family Medicine and Primary Care

From Mexico to Chile

From Italy to Poland

From Brazil to Germany

Report of the SCOPE and SCORE sessions

Sudan Tropical Exchange Project

By the chair of WONCA

PeriSCOPE - Edition 4, August 2011


Today, Sixty years later,

we are celebrating our anniversary. I have the great privilege of being the Editor in Chief of PERISCOPE for this term. Our organization, the IFMSA is growing each and every day in this wonderful world. It is great to know that we will all become part of this unforgettable moment. SCOPE is the oldest Standing Committee in IFMSA, providing one of the largest students’ exchange programs in the world, making us proud. By the time you are reading this magazine, you`ll dive in the history with the interview of one of the first SCOPE Directors Henrik Wulff, who will shead light on the development of our committee during the years. With this historical background we will take a look at our future with the article from our SCOPE D- Pablo Vega, in order to achieve our goal of being the most inspiring and innovative committee in the IFMSA. Thank you, SCOPEans, for sharing the same ideals in order for us to achieve the same goal together Every year one of us finds new friends, gets a memories for a lifetime, achieves their dreams by going on an IFMSA exchange. We will take a tour , traveling from Tatarstan to Hungary, from Mexico to Chile, from Italy to Poland and from Spain to Germany. Let’s find out together the breath-taking stories, that our students shared with us. In this edition we decided to present you our very important partners in upgrading the SCOPE exchanges Chlarley Pearl will show us “…endless opportunities for Global Health Education to be integrated into the heart of exchanges…” I hope you will join this SWG at the GA  The Tropical Exchange Project got off to a flying start…Enthusiasm played a keyrole in the first and the second STEP project. Yousif Widaallathe Project coordinator of STEP will tell us more about this amazing medical mission… Please, don’t hesitate at all to participate! Being updated is crucial for our SCOPE life. We will take a short tour through the SCOPE sessions of the European Regional Meeting in Catalonia. Let’s discover together how they met and


shared ideas and received trainings while increasing the quality of their programs.. and prepare us for the upcoming events. I would like to thank the wonderful group of enthusiastic SCOPE members - our PERISCOPE team - for their hard work and support, for collecting, editing, selecting all this articles. Special thanks to Madeleine for making the design, to Magrit for being always online for everything We hope you enjoy reading it and we are waiting for all your comments and suggestions. Take a moment to enjoy this awesome edition… Take a moment to think about what makes your life feel important to you. ..In my heart there is a special place for my “small” SCOPE family, for all of you…

Let`s exchange the world, SCOPEans! Nadya Nakova, Editor in Chief

PeriSCOPE is an IFMSA publication © Portions of PeriSCOPE may be reproduced for non political, and non profit purposes mentioning the source provided. Notice: Every care has been taken in the preparation of these articles. Nevertheless, errors cannot always be avoided. IFMSA cannot accept any responsibility for any liability. The opinions expressed in this PeriSCOPE are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IFMSA. Some of the photos and graphics used are property of their authors. We have taken every consideration not to violate their rights.

Standing Committee on Professional Exchange

Anniversary edition of PeriSCOPE Word of the Director for Professional Exchange

Pablo Vega

Dear SCOPE friends, This General Assembly is really special for our Federation and for our Standing Committee, as it is the 60th anniversary of both. The IFMSA was founded in May of 1951 with the objective of “studying and promoting the interests of medical student co-operation on a purely professional basis, and promoting the activities in the field of student health and student relief ”. From the perspective of the students of that time, crossing borders and just travelling and completing a clerkship within Europe was as exciting as it is for a Westerner to travel far to Africa or Asia nowadays. For that reason the founders of IFMSA thought that the exchange program was the best way to offer this chance to medical students and also, bearing in mind that World War II had just finished a few years before, the borders within Europe were more open, allowing the students greater mobility, increasing the cultural understanding and sensibility to prevent the factors that initiated the war. As members of the IFMSA we should feel proud in what we have achieved so far; the Federation and the exchange program which started 60 years ago with just 8 countries involved, now has 96 countries involved in which the exchange program is active in 87?. We actively promote international student activity and today we exchange more than 8.500 students per year. The opportunity to practice medicine abroad gives medical students the chance to realize how science differs internationally in how it is practiced from country to country. This teaches the students different ways in which to approach a problem and also in how we should treat patients in a different cultural setting. A really important consequence of an exchange program is also the new international friends you make - this experience is unique and really worth experiencing at least once as student. Sharing experiences with medical students from a different part of the world helps you understand different system

medical students worldwide

of medical education and also spans your international network, which is really good for an international discipline such as medicine. Throughout this 60 years of history many people have been involved in the development of the IFMSA and SCOPE to make them what they are today. Thanks to the efforts of many people we have grown and expanded the Federation that crosses many borders. I think that the IFMSA can go further and there are still many things that will have to be done by new generations, the beauty of the IFMSA and SCOPE is that they rely in the fact that hundreds of medical students work for them to serve other thousand medical students every year. Even nowadays we depend more heavily on technology than our fellow member did some decades ago, but we still gather twice a year in our General Assemblies because this is where we are most productive and where we feel even more of the IFMSA spirit. Let’s hope future generations will still believe in the magic of gathering more than 800 medical students twice a year and, in a few years, when we are doctors, we will remember the General Assemblies and SCOPE with the passion we feel for it today and the success it has had the previous 60 years. Long live the IFMSA and SCOPE!

“The beauty of the IFMSA and SCOPE is that they rely on the fact that hundreds of medical students work for them to serve thousands of medical students every year.”


Pablo Vega is a medical student from Chile, and IFMSA’s current Director for Professional Exchange.

PeriSCOPE - Edition 4, August 2011

The collaboration with Medical Associations Word of the Liaison Officer to Research and Medical Associatons Federica Balzarini

about the author Federica Balzarini is a medical student from Italy, and IFMSA’ s current Liaison Officer to Research and Medical Associations.

The position of Liaison Officer to Research and Medical Associations (LORMA) was created at the AM2009 in Macedonia. The reason for this new position was the need of SCOPE and SCORE to create a link towards other organizations. In IFMSA, LORMA has as main function to create, sustain and strengthen the link with the organization relevant for to the exchange programs. It is incredible how External Organizations are amazed by our comitment and our structure, and this is why contacts are increasing. I always feel privileged to promote the biggest Exchange Program of the world, and I am proud to forward the messages from the most relevant Medical Associations. IFMSA is in contact with several Medical Association to promote their projects and to try to get support for the Professional Exchanges in the related Department, in terms of specific books, articles, and recognized checklists. Representatives from these organizations are often invited to our meetings, to inspire and motivate our members to work in these medical domains. The following Associations don’t have a specific agreement, but all of them are aware of our Exchange Program, and were asked to support it. The International Pediatric Association, a nongovernmental organization with a membership of 144 National Pediatric Societies from 139 countries, is working to mobilize its extensive network of pediatricians for advocacy and programs in child health, whenever possible with UN agencies and with other global organizations. The World Federation of Neurology, the international body representing the specialty of neurology in more than 100 countries, tries to improve human health worldwide by promoting prevention and the care of persons with disorders of the nervous system by fostering the best standards of neurological practice, educating, in collaboration with other international public and private organizations and facilitating research through its Research Groups.


The International College of Surgeons (ICS) is a global organization dedicated to bringing together surgeons and surgical specialists of all nations, races, and creeds to promote surgical excellence for the benefit of all of mankind and to foster fellowshipworldwide.

The IFMSA General Assembly approved a Memorandum of Understanding with 2 Medical Associations, as an acknowledgement of the desire about the autho to cooperate in mutually beneficial activities. The World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physician is made up of national colleges, academies or organizations concerned with the academic aspects of general family practice in 99 countries with over 250,000 general practitioners. WONCA acknowledges the involvement of medical students, through IFMSA, in activities related to primary care, family medicine, and community based health services and their influence on health care at local, national, and international levels and recognizes that medical students have the potential to contribute through their projects and exchange programs to the development and better recognition of primary care and the family doctor. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), is the only worldwide organization that groups obstetricians and gynecologists with member associations in 124 countries. FIGO recognizes that medical students have the potential to contribute to volunteer health programs in low resource countries, to the future development of the specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology. At the beginning of the summer 2010, FIGO endorsed a checklist that sets all the points a student have to see during the clerkship in gynecology and obstetrics. Even if the position of LORMA was recently created, the potential is extremely high: this is the best way to promote and seeing recognized our amazing Exchange Program!


Standing Committee on Professional Exchange

Back in history An interview with the fist SCOPE Director, Henrik Wulff, by the current SCOPE Director, Pablo Vega

Sixty years have passed since a 19 years old Danish medical student, member of the International Medical Cooperation Committee (IMCC-Denmark), was chosen as the first SCOPE Director. His name is Henrik Wulff and he is now retired and lives in Copenhagen with his wife, who met through the IFMSA and turned out to be an exchange officer of what is today known as MEDSINUK. He worked as a gastroenterologist at the Herlev Hospital in Copenhagen and also as a professor of clinical decision theory and ethics. He started at Copenhagen University as a medical student in 1950, where he met some fellow-students who were enthusiastically engaged in the establishment of international cooperation between medical student organizations. They were, among others, Erik Holst, who took the initiative to form the IFMSA and became its first President, and Jørgen Falck-Larsen who became the first GeneralSecretary. During the years the IFMSA was created, there was a completely different context within Europe and also the international cooperation was something that many NGOs and associations were trying to improve. To understand their way of thinking at that time, it must be remembered that Europe had not yet recovered from World War II. The students had, of course, been prevented from traveling during the war and they felt that it was fantastic that they could now visit other European countries- they did not at that time aspire to go further afield. So the chief aim was simply to facilitate the meeting of students from different countries, sometimes countries which had been at war previously. From the perspective of a Danish student, traveling across Europe to an IFMSA meeting in Rome was as exotic as traveling to the Far East today. Working in for IFMSA gives you several skills that might be helpful for working as a physician but for Dr. Henrik Wulff it meant much more than that: “The IFMSA “helped me” to find a wife.” At that time she represented the British Medical Student Association at an IFMSA meeting in London which he also attended. According to him, he is sure that

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IFMSA is responsible for countless international marriages. But quite apart from that, the IFMSA experience helped him to move with ease in international circles. That proved important when, later on, he got engaged in the activities of international scientific societies. Nowadays it is more common for students to go on exchange; just in Europe with the Erasmus program more than 2 million students have been “exchanged”, and with the IFMSA more than 265.000. According to Dr. Wulff, a medical doctor who has no personal experience with medicine in other countries is simply a badly trained doctor. Medical about the author science may be an international discipline, but clinical medicine is not. He still remembers when, as a medical student, he took part in a clinical clerkship at the University Hospital in Sarajevo. During this experience he was surprised to find how many of the patients in the hospital beds differed from those in Denmark. The disease spectrum was very different from the one at his home. And apart from that it should be remembered that medicine is also a humanistic discipline and traveling abroad also teaches that ethical norms are culture dependent. When the Federation started in Europe they certainly never envisaged that in due course its activities would be extended to other continents, but it is fair to say that the development has surpassed their wildest initial expectations. Dr. Wulff likes to describe IFMSA as a success!! but, of course, there is still a lot for future generations of medical students to do. Even today it is only a small minority of medical students who participate in the exchange activities for example. In these past 60 years many people have been in charge of running the Standing Committee on Professional Exchange, each of them having made great contribution to make the committee what it is nowadays with the help of hundreds of students who work at the local level, to provide a good experience to those thousands of students traveling each year to have a month that is a experience of a lifetime.


about the author Henrik Wulff was the first SCOPE Director, sixty years ago, in the year 1951.

PeriSCOPE - Edition 4, August 2011

Neurology in Hungary From Tartarstan, Russia to Hungary

Kristina Uzinskaya

about the author Kristina Uzinskaya is a fifth year medical student, studying at the Kazan State University Medical University in Russia

I don’t remember properly when the idea to visit Hungary came to my mind. I was reading about this country a lot and day by day the wish visit it was growing. However I was a bit afraid of the possibility of getting disappointed because of a cruel reality and of the possible destruction of my imaginary fairytale of a salubrious waters country. I was planning to devote all of my time this summer to neurology, because I want to dedicate myself to this field. I went to the local IFMSA office of the Tatarstan Medical Students’ Association on the deadline date, and of course I chose Hungary as a country of a first choice. From the very first minute when my plane landed in Hungary, there was no doubt that I made the right decision. It was July, Hungary, perfect weather…what could be better! I was accommodated in a hostel with other exchange students where the rooms were large and clean with all the necessary things in it. Debrecen city is the second largest city in Hungary situated in the Eastern part of the country. The city is mainly famous for its University. Education in Debrecen University is on a very high standard and is conducted in two languages – Hungarian and English. Almost half of all the students are foreigners and that is the main reason why this city has turned into a real cosmo-


politan. On the first day of the clerkship I went to the hospital with my contact person to meet my tutor. I need to say, that there is one medical complex area of Debrecen University Health and Science center, so everything was in close range. I only had to cross the road to be in the neurology department. It was a new three–storied building with modern equipment. My tutor, a very authoritative person, the Chairman of Department liked to decide whether the student would become a doctor, or no just by speaking with him. He also used to ask students a lot of questions. I was very happy about this because it meant that this was not going to be a boring clerkship for me at all and it was exactly what I was looking for. Let me describe the usual workday schedule. The day usually began at 8 a.m. with a report of the doctor on duty. After a brief discussion in both Hungarian and English languages (the level of English among the medical staff is very high) morning rounds began at about 9:30 a.m. The students were divided into 4 groups: to work in the Intensive Care Unit, male wards, female wards and to work in outpatient clinics for 1 week in each sub-department. Every student got his own patient, performed a full physical examination and was supposed to re-

Standing Committee on Professional Exchange

port any changes in the patient’s condition. During morning rounds students had the same right to speak as the doctors, but the last word was always owned by the chairman. The most interesting patients were examined by everyone together. The rounds continued till noon, when it was lunchtime. We had about 2-3 consultations with doctors based on lecture themes in the second part of the day. It wasn’t obligatory to attend those, but highly recommended. And also how could you not attend the consultations, if the professors would afterwards ask you face to face whether you participated or not. By all means these consultations were really useful. It wasn’t just plain theory from the book. They were designed in a form of video presentation of patients before treatment, main data of physical examination, treatment, and the patients’ video after the treatment. We also had some practical training in labs, such as the sleep lab, electromyography and ultrasound laboratory. Usually they took place till 3 p.m. If we wanted we could also stay longer with the doctor on duty. I noticed that the number of patients with Multiple Sclerosis in Hungary is significantly higher than it is in Russia. The majority of the students whom I met in the department was doing their internships and were preparing for the State neurology exam. There were 3 students on Professional Exchange including myself, and about 5 other students by, participants of a different kind of an exchange program. But the requirements were the same for everyone as if we all would have to pass the State exam in 4 weeks time. The variety of countries where the students came from was enormous: Iceland, Israel, Netherlands, Iran, USA, India, Nigeria, Turkey, Italy, and Cyprus.

“The clerkship gave me a great chance to see myself as a doctor, and to upgrade my skills” We usually spent lunchtime together talking about our countries, habits and traditions. It was so informative and often seemed as though we visited each of those countries. Our exchange group consisted of 14 people and we had 10 contact people. They always have fresh ideas where to go and what to do: museums, cafes, clubs, barbeques, etc. We watched every game of the football World Cup 2010 together. During the weekends there were festivals on the main city square. Debrecen is popular for its thermal bathes. So from time to time we mixed relaxation with having fun in these mineral water pools. There were 3 trips organized around Hungary to Lake Balaton,

medical students worldwide

Budapest and to Eger. These places have their own special beauty. It is hard to describe it all in a few words, but I will try. Budapest – this city is waiting for everybody to visit; it is a real Perl of the Danube (proven by myself!); historical city with amazing architecture. Lake Balaton – active night life and day sleeping place on the beach. Eger is a nice historical place with Hungarian traditions everywhere and with delicious wines. This exchange was really remarkable. The clerkship gave me a great chance to see myself as a doctor, to upgrade my skills and to learn the real doctor’s way of thinking. I am thankful to all the doctors, whom I was working with during that month. This practice gave me complete confidence that I am on the right track and that I really want to become a neurologist. I have seen many positive pathological syndromes, which before that I knew only of my books. And it was so pleasing to see how stroke patients were getting healthy again. And besides all the positive emotions I was also able to make new friends. We keep in touch with each other and still share news of how life is going. I would also like to thank all the people who make the IFMSA exchanges possible! =)


PeriSCOPE - Edition 4, August 2011

Internal Medicine in Chile From Mexico to Chile David Rodriquez Mier

Being in an international clerkship program is one of the goals that a medical student should look for. It may be for both the academic and the clinical experience, or because a globalized world demands for international experience or both, but what I’m sure of is that this experience is such a journey that goes further from the medical experience. Getting into the hospital. Being miles from home, from everybody you about the author know, in a completely new city and knowing noDavid Rodriquez Mier is body, in a hospital where the patients may speak studying medicine in Monthe same language but have an entirely new way terrey, Mexico of speaking, and also getting to know new ways of medical practice, it was a journey that has left many experiences in my life. The differences between the health care systems aren’t so big, but in Chile the program is elder than in Mexico. In Chile the Health program has being available since 1979 and the coverage is bigger than the Mexican; where it’s at least 5 years old. The difference is the way of practicing medicine because of the impact of the social insurance programs, and also because the demand of society is completely different. For example, in Chile there are more opportunities for medical technicians careers than in Mexico, but also there are fewer medical specialists.


This doesn’t mean one is better, they are just different and the programs are adapted to the different vision of medicine that each society has, this is where what my Professor told me comes true: “Medicine is the same around world, what makes the difference is the health care systems”. Chile hasn’t “chile”! Living in Chile was a whole new experience. Adapting to the way of living, working and being. Beginning from the way they speak, they may speak Spanish, but sometimes words have different meaning or I didn’t even know them. Anyway, everybody may adapt to the language, the transport and the weather…even the food!! It was delicious! Chileans may have “Ají” (Chili), but isn’t strong enough for a Mexican guy, but they don’t need “chile” for being a very spicy culture and a beautiful country full of history. Chileans are very nice and kind people and very warm hosts; I think that Mexican and Chilean cultures aren’t so different. IFMSA Chile had a great social program, we got a tour around Santiago and also Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. When it wasn’t hospital time, knowing Chile was a complete adventure, its beautiful streets, museums, bars and clubs! Even the subway! And the

Standing Committee on Professional Exchange

public transport services, at first were kind of complicated but we got used to it. People were very kind and helpful; they told me about the history of their country, about places and popular stores. Being a Mexileiro. I lived so many things, but the most important is that I traveled to Chile knowing nobody, but I returned to Mexico with a new family and a lot of friends. That’s right I made a family, an international family called Mexileiros (it is because members are both Mexicans and Brazilians). I will tell you how my part in the history of my new family was. At first, I was programmed to stay with a host family, the first days were good, understanding the family ways was kind of hard, but when I finally adopted, they decided to go on vacation! And I stayed just with her daughter, this may sound like fun…but suddenly it turned in an unpleasant situation, she wasn’t as kind as her parents. Then issues begun…and for that reason I decided to leave! And then in the first social activity of IFMSA I met all the exchangers!! Mexicans, Brazilians, Colombians, Peruvians and even Finish! We all made a big group! It was a good thing knowing people in similar situations, having trouble adapting to the new city, so we decided to keep in touch, which was a wise decision because I was starting to have issues with my host. Then our welcome party came and I travel from outsides of Santiago to the downtown, I met all the exchangers at their apartment and I told them about my experience. They agreed on adopting me in one of the apartments, and here is where all the adventure started! I spoke with Jennifer Vélez, the Chilean NEO. She was very kind and supported my decision to move and… the party started!! The group attended to all the activities of the social program, but with time a family born, we spent most of the time together, sharing private afternoons. We shared experiences at hospital, city and our Chileans friends. One of our adventures was trying to get home, once we went to the movies and tried to reach the last subway!! But the movie ended late, so we had to run in order to get the last

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train home! It was funny, I think…maybe locals found it weird a group of Mexicans and Brazilians running and yelling through a mall trying to reach the exit to the subway. We went to clubs and even shared the host families! We spent together a lot of time together, and well … we didn’t learn Portuguese but we understood what the Brazilian girls talked about. At weekends we attended to the local clubs and bars. We took care of each others and our Chilean s friends were always trying to take us to funny places. We had a lot of experiences and as a good foreigner group living at an apartment; we partied in our apartments…that was great!! But neighbors

“I learned that anyone should travel to another country… But finding friends and a family it isn’t a very common thing, that’s why my experience in Chile was a life experience!!”


PeriSCOPE - Edition 4, August 2011

General Surgery & Transplantology in Poland From Italy to Poland Valeria Donghi

about the author Valeria Donghi is a medical student living in Milan, Italy

My name is Valeria, from Milan (Italy), and I was in Poland for an IFMSA clerkship last September. What can I say about this experience? It was the second IFMSA clerkship for me, so I decided to go on exchange to discover a new place, to have a confrontation between my everyday living in hospital in Italy, and the hospital activity in a different country, to breath a different air, to meet new friends from all over the word, to live an international experience because I think that it’s extremely important to have an open view on the worldwide for my personal and professional growth. For all these reasons I decided to leave, even if my previous experience wasn’t so positive! But Poland, for me, has been an unexpected surprise. I’ve chosen to go there because I’ve had positive feedback from a friend of mine, who was in Lodz for a clerkship some years ago, and who was really enthusiastic about Polish people and about the amazing social program! Trusting her, my choise was…Poland! But I really couldn’t imagine what kind of precious experience it was going to be for me!


My destination town was Katowice and I attended the General Surgery and Transplantology Department of Szpital Kliniczny im. Andrzeja Mieleckiego. Every morning Me and my roommate from Madrid caught the bus from the dorm to reach the hospital in the city center, and from the first days we went there, doctors were really kind and didactic with us: we could scrub and take part in every kind of general or vascular surgery, and also we could observe interesting kidney and liver transplantations!  The anesthetists were also always ready to teach something or let us practice with intubation. In one word…it was great! And I was really surprised because I didn’t imagine to find people so kind and helpful who really wanted to teach something to us and to let us become part of the department staff, even if only for a month. Out of the hospital our days and nights were really full and intensive! The social program was great, almost every afternoon or evening there was some trip or something funny to do all together, like visit coal mines of a beer factory!  Or live together a really important experience like visit AuschwitzBirkenau concentration camps and think about our past history. In addition every weekend we went to visit different town in Poland: Krakow, Warsaw and the sweet Wroclaw!  The last one was absolutely my favorite…a nice town crossed by rivers and linked by pretty bridges…wonderful! In this unforgettable month we really knew a lot about Poland, Polish people and…Polish food (great “pierogi”!!!); I discovered such a nice country with really special people who I’ll always have in my memories and in my heart and who I could never forget! Thanks, guys, to have made this possible… one of the best periods of my life! tween my everyday living in hospital in Italy, and the hospital activity in a different country, to breath a different air, to meet new friends from all over the word, to live

Standing Committee on Professional Exchange

Gynaecology & Obstetrics in Germany From Brazil to Germany Isabela Forni

“An experience, an opportunity, an achievement, a challenge ... a dream came true! These words can define a little bit about my one month exchange program in gynecology and obstetrics in Munich – Germany.”

I’ve always dreamed of living the medicine in another country besides Brazil; I believe this experience adds to us as professionals and as people. From this experience we acquire new life experience, full of learning, new culture and unforgettable memories. Seeing the giant list of possible countries to go, I just didn’t know which one to choose, each one with its own features, advantagnes, disadvantages and mystery ...I choose Germany because of the famous “first world country”, the security that I would be able to communicate (since almost everybody there speaks English) and, furthermore, the natural and cultural beauty there have always excited me! I stayed in Munich, the third largest city in Germany, the capital city of Bavaria, a romantic city with beautiful landscapes, recordist in production and consumption of beer, famous for hosting big companies such as BMW and Siemens, and of course, the famous Oktoberfest! The day I arrived my contact person took me to my future home: a bedroom in the apartment of a German woman; I had my own room, lots of freedom and privacy and the best part: practically next to the subway.

The internship was in the “Klinikum rechts der Isar”, the university hospital of Technische Universität München, which although founded in 1834, is a very modern hospital and renowned center for the care of the sick, medical research and the teaching of medicine. During my internship I had one of the best academic experiences so far: I helped in all the cesarea section! I was in my third year of medical school and had not previously participated in any surgery. So when I arrived at the hospital and the doctor simply said to me: Put those clothes, wash your hands and prepare to assist a Cesarean! I couldn’t believe! During the month, I worked in more than 15 cesarean sections, followed several pelvic and breast surgeries, followed

“Klinikum rechts der Isar”

medical students worldwide


about the author Isabela Forni is a fourth year medical student, living in Marilia, Brazil

PeriSCOPE - Edition 4, August 2011

a lot of minor procedures,watched many classes, etc... Every mornings there also were case discussion with the whole team; It was difficult to understand due to the language, but I could learn something due to the images and laboratory results. I learned a lot! But mostly I grew up, because I had to do almost everything by myself; even though the doctors and nurses were very helpful to me and always helped me when I needed. The fact that I’m from Brazil excited many people, and when explaining about IFMSA and the exchanges programs, the doctors were always delighted and congratulated me for the initiative to participate! On the weekends I had plenty of time for sighseeing the beautiful cities of Germany, with much practicality, safety and comfort! Often, when I exit early from the internship, I could take a train and go somewhere close. Moreover, the efficiency and organization of the Germans make it the perfect country to travel: everything works.

As I always tell everyone that will take the exchange program, the internship is 90% due to you and only 10% due to luck and structure! So it’s a good experience to learn how to do things by yourself, become less shy and have a pro active atitude. When people ask me if I recommend going to Germany, I just recommend going through this experience of exchange, anywhere in the world! But if you have the opoortunity to go to Germany, yes, I recommend a lot! I wouldn’t do it differently!


Standing Committee on Professional Exchange

Introducing... Global Health Education to Exchanges

Global Health has recently been defined by one of the world’s leading general medical journals as “an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. Global health emphasises transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions; involves many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promotes interdisciplinary collaboration; and is a synthesis of population-based prevention with individual-level clinical care”. Within Medsin-UK, Global Health has always been a core component of the projects and campaigns run throughout the UK. It is a theme that we were keen to bring to the March Meeting in 2011 and introduce into all of the standing committees in our own capacity. Having had a chance to consider the link between Global Health and exchanges prior to the GA, and more specifically within one of the UK’s Local Committees, I became increasingly convinced of the importance that Global Health Education had to play within

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SCOPE and for every student going on exchange. The SCOPE mission statement was updated at the August meeting in 2010 and now reads, “To have IFMSA SCOPE exchanges accredited by medical faculties across the world and to give all students the opportunity to learn about global health and the effects of globalization.” As you can see, the words “Global Health” are even used, with very little understanding of the topic and how it can influence the future workings of SCOPE. As my knowledge of exchanges and interest in SCOPE has grown over the past year or so, I see endless opportunities for Global Health Education to be integrated into the heart of exchanges, involving every student going on an exchange through Academic Quality and Social Programmes, and much more. I had the pleasure of facilitating a small working group in Jakarta in March 2011 to introduce this topic and share these ideas, and Maria Aroca (from AECS Catalonia) has continued this work at the SRT in Budapest in April 2011. With Global Health Education being such a new topic of discussion within exchanges, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the outcomes of these small working groups and give you an idea of how I see Global Health Education growing within SCOPE. In order to help direct the student’s research and learning, we came up with the following objectives:


Medsin-UK is the Brittish national member organisation of IFMSA

PeriSCOPE - Edition 4, August 2011

To know the primary health concerns and basic epidemiology of the host country and how it differs from the home country To understand the structure of the healthcare system in the host country and how it is funded To have a knowledge of the medical education system in the host country To observe professional and doctor-patient rela tionships in the host country and compare them to the home country Identify any differences in global health region ally and nationally in the host country

In my opinion, Global Health Education is central to encouraging students to get the most out of their exchange and provides a structure of how to learn about the pertinent issues that affect health globally, such as the burden of disease in different countries. To have students travelling thousands of miles collectively every year to complete 4week clerkships is such a privilege and provides us all with an opportunity to learn more about the countries we visit, individually and as a group. With just a few months left as NEO and my final GA in sight, I am really encouraged by the support I have had from so many NEOs about introducing the idea of Global Health Education in their NMO. Over the past few months, several NEOs have indicated that they wish to include aspects of Global Health Education


into the logbook they use in their NMO, and I hope to continue working with Alex Starzyńska and the Academic Quality SWG to discuss how best to incorporate this topic into the standardised SCOPE Student Handbook for use internationally. I really hope this article has encouraged you to think more about how we prepare our students before they go on an exchange and how we can facilitate the learning of incoming students in our own countries. Medsin-UK is in the process of producing a Global Health Education toolkit, which will be used for various projects throughout the UK, and hopefully the benefits of this will be seen not only locally, but nationally and internationally. Education of Global Health is something we all have an individual responsibility for – after all, as Medsin-UK says, Global Health, Local Issue.

“To have IFMSA SCOPE exchanges accredited by medical faculties across the world and to give all students the opportunity to learn about global health and the effects of globalization.”

Standing Committee on Professional Exchange

European Regional Meeting Report of the SCOPE and SCORE sessions Luis Ensenyat

Many of us didn’t have time enough to unpack our luggage’s after a great adventure in Indonesia, and we were packing again for a new IFMSA adventure. Always at the beginning of April, soon after the March Meeting, European Regional Meeting meets participants from more than 40 NMOs around Europe. This year, held in La Pineda (Tarragona) organized by AECS Catalonia-Spain, 230 participants attended EuRegMe that from April 7-11th, and more than 50 joined SCOPE and SCORE sessions. These sessions, where, for such a great number of participants their first International Meeting. A new fresh air of highly motivated people with new ideas that. To others, a new event where to meet old friends, talk about the past, the future, our lifes, and of course SCOPE! Sessions consisted in Presentations about projects running on in Europe, such us Sub-Regional

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Trainings (that were held in Budapest and Istanbul), workshops (about New Technologies, Conflict management, Academic Quality….) small working groups (Standardization of the Pre-Departure Trainings, Exchanges in Europe: Problems and opportunities, Social Program organization and the start of the SCOPE bylaws Revision), presentations of SCOPE projects by NEOs, and as for the first time, Sub-Regional sessions, a new idea that aimed to share ideas for collaborations among neighbor countries in Europe. The high level showed by the newcomers, and the aim to work of everybody helped to have very productive sessions with lots of outcomes from the Small working groups. Outcomes, that I believe will help NEOs and LEOs to face a new summer Exchange season, and of course, improving day-byday, the extraordinary world of SCOPE.


about the author Luis Ensenyat is SCOPE’s Regional Assistant for Europe

PeriSCOPE - Edition 4, August 2011

Step 3 Sudan Tropical Exchange Project Yousif Widaatalla

What is STEP? STEP (Sudan Tropical Exchange Project) started as an idea of making a summer school for all of IFMSA students focusing on research and the practical parts of the Tropical medicine in Sudan. NOW STEP is an IFMSA endorsed Project and Rex-Crossly award winner 2010 The first step was in July 2009 with 17 students from Holland, Italy, Finland, Germany and United Kingdom and the second year was in November 2010 with 16 students from Holland, Italy, Germany, Czech, Canada and Croatia. The project for four weeks the first three weeks are in Khartoum and the last week is a medical mission outside Khartoum. STEP three will be during the period from 10/10/2011-10/11/2011 Scientific program: It is a great opportunity for those who don’t have a lot of Tropical disease in their own countries. The first three weeks are in Khartoum during which the participants will be taught about the following subjects: Tuberculosis Typhoid Fever Brucellosis (Malta fever) Malaria Schistoshomiais (Bilharzia) Leishmaniais (Kalazar) Mycetoma \ (Madura) Rheumatic fever Miscellaneous (Echhinococosis,


Onchocerciasis) In the begging each one of the participants will have his/her own STEP notebook and CD about the Tropical Medicine. At the end all of the participants will do the project’s exam to get the certificate at the graduation party. Social program: With STEP you can see the true African culture and enjoy the Nile cruise and the amazing Sudanese weddings and in the museum you see the old culture of Nubba and at the end we will take you to see the oldest pyramid s in the worlds in Marwe. You will see Nubba wrestling, drawish dance and at the end of the project there is a post tour to Port Sudan in the red see. At the end there will be a big graduation party for all of the stepper in which they will get there certificates . Medical mission: After the 3 weeks period all the participants will be going on a 3-5 days medical mission (as part of Sudan International Medical Mission another IFMSA endorsed project) to rural population in Sudan along with other students and medical doctors to provide free medical consultations, along with simple lab investigations and free medication and a lot of health education to the local community. Students will learn how to practice medicine in a low resources environment. From them: Tropical medicine one you read about it in books! And you cannot see it in Europe! Just Words...Mycetoma!! I even never heard about it before coming to Sudan! …. Claudia Lazzaretti(Italy) In Sudan I couldn’t feel any safer than i did. Even when I went out alone at midnight to buy cigarettes i felt safe……Ivona Bakmaz (Croatia) Are you coming with us on STEP 3??

Standing Committee on Professional Exchange

Fostering Student Exchanges in Family Medicine & Primary Care By the chair, Working Party on Education of the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) Dr Allyn Walsh - Chair, Wonca Working Party on Education

Wonca is the World Organization of Family Doctors and its Working Party on Education has family doctors/general practitioners from all over the world as members. We meet together every three years at the Wonca World Conference, but in between we exchange news and messages via email and at our regional meetings. We were very happy to be approached by IFMSA to help in developing student exchanges in primary care. As a first step in this process, our group has been developing a checklist for student experiences in family medicine. This checklist will become part of SCOPE’s handbook that every medical student going on an exchange will take with them. Our goal is to ensure that students will understand the essential experiences in understanding and learning about family medicine in the context of the country in which they are learning. This is a challenge, given the international nature of student exchanges and the fact that family medicine/primary care is very context specific! The checklist is not a list of procedures and interventions, but much more of a guide to the sorts of things that family doctors all over the world do as they practice. We will be presenting the process we are using at the

Wonca Europe meeting in Warsaw in September, and plan to have a final version ready for the handbook soon afterwards. Our discipline is critically important to health care, and a vital one for medical students – we want to do our best to foster medical student exchanges. We are interested in hearing ideas from medical students about what would be helpful in fostering exchanges – while we cannot solve all of the difficulties, our global group of educationally oriented family doctors would benefit from hearing the student perspective.

Allynn Walsh is chair of WONCA’s Working Party on Education.

Your story in PeriSCOPE? PeriSCOPE is the official magazine of the Standing Committee of Professional Exchange and is printed twice a year. If you have been on an exchange and would like to share your story, you can contact the SCOPE Director (scoped@, who will put you in touch with the editors. Similarly, if you have an exciting exchange project coming up that you would like to inform international students about, you can send an email to the same address to find out what the options are. The next edition of PeriSCOPE will come out March 2012, just before IFMSA’s March Meeting, so be sure to send in your proposed article in December at the latest.

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PeriSCOPE August 2011  

The August 2011 issue of PeriSCOPE, the official magazine of the Standing Committee on Professional Exchange!

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