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Hippokrates Exchange Programme, UK
Start date: 01 Jul 2016, End date: 30 Jun 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Following on from the successful and popular current Erasmus+ funded Hippokrates exchange programme 2014–2016 (project 2014-1-UK01-KA102-000412), two previous exchange cycles funded through the Leonardo Lifelong Learning programme and a range of other exchange opportunities through VdGM and wider networks managed by RCGP over the last 15 years, we propose to run an exchange programme in 2016-18 for 43 UK-based family doctors who are currently in training or within one year after qualification to travel to Europe and observe clinical practice. The exchanges will be supervised by an experienced host qualified in family medicine.This project is an extension of the well established European Hippokrates exchange program ( developed by the Vasco da Gama Movement of young family doctors affiliated with WONCA Europe (, the European division of the World Organisation of Family Doctors. The programme was founded from a recognition that junior doctors benefit from the opportunity to directly experience the delivery of family medicine in other European countries. This vital addition to training identified family doctors who are better prepared for an increasingly multicultural workplace and society.The aim of the project is exchange and mobility of junior family doctors, providing a broader perspective of family medicine and, in addition, to evaluate family medicine across Europe, explore best practice and promote personal and professional development.The placement will take the form of a 2-week observational role to a number of different European countries with established partners. The project will run over two years. Staggering placements will minimise any unnecessary strain on the NHS and allow participants and hosts to schedule mobilities at mutually convenient times. Participants will be recruited openly and transparently from across the UK using a well established processes and selection criteria used by the RCGP which are compliant with UK equality legislation. This aims to reflect the diversity of the junior doctor population - for example in gender, age, ethnic and religious origins.Prior to the exchange, candidates will agree learning objectives with their host who will provide a tailored training schedule. Language training guidance will be provided.During the exchange, participants are expected to attend local training and engage with aspects of family medicine. In addition, they provide an account of family practice in the UK to facilitate discussion. Furthermore, they have protected tutorial time to allow discussion with host supervisor. This also allows evaluation of progress.On completion, the learning objectives are reviewed against the actual learning outcomes and signed off to signify adherence. Each participants submits a report describing their experiences, which allows reflection on the Learning outcomes and quality over the placement. In addition this will be used for qualitative research analysis. The envisaged results and impact will be learning in the core areas relevant to general practice as outlined by the EURACT definition of General Practice/Family Medicine. As such, doctors will also gain knowledge that will contribute to their training in a number of key skills and competencies outlined in the RCGP curriculum, linking in directly with work towards passing the MRCGP assessment which is the licensing exam for GPs in the UK. For newly qualified family doctors, the learning outcomes link in directly with requirements for CPD and revalidation. This will ultimately help the participants to maintain their UK licence to practise and increase their attractiveness to employers. Mobility placements also help to develop individual general practices and the NHS as a whole.The longer term benefits will be multiple:- Enhance the skills and experiences of family doctors. This will directly benefit the patient population served, including providing a greater appreciation of multicultural, ethnic and religious beliefs applicable to the UK as a growing multicultural society.– Forge international links. This will promote research, education and collaboration.– Promote employability. This is both within the UK, particularly at high level (e.g. partner roles in individual GP practices), and within Europe.
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