Hippokrates is a “European Exchange Programme for Medical Doctors specialising in General Practice/Family Medicine”.
The programme is supported by WONCA- Europe (World Organisation of Family Doctors) through EURACT (European Academy of Teachers in General Practice).
It was launched in June 2000.
The aim of the programme is to encourage exchange and mobility among GP trainees during the course of their professional formation providing a broader perspective to General Practice at both professional and personal levels.
How it works
A "Study Visit" is arranged through direct contact between the Trainee wishing to participate in the programme and one of the Hosting Practices of the participating countries.
The duration of a visit is 2 weeks. During this time the visitor will obtain a brief but broad introduction to the aspects and the role of General Practice in the respective country by taking part in all the activities of the Host Practice. The visiting trainee will also meet local trainees and take part in their educational as well as social activities.
How it works
The programme is addressed to GP trainees but not restricted to the GP Registrar year.
When possible, private accommodation with one of the host GPs can be arranged, always trying to keep costs at minimum.
The common language is English , however it is an asset if the visiting Trainee is able to speak the language of the hosting country.
How it works
After an initial two-year pilot phase with 5 participating countries :
two more countries have joined the programme: Italy and Poland.
My GP trainer, a member of the WONCA organisation, introduced me to the programme. He encouraged me to arrange a visit to another practice in Europe.
It took me a few e-mails to practices in Denmark and Holland before arranging a visit. Finding the suitable dates for me and for the host practice proved to be more laborious than expected.
But the process was successful and during June 2002 and for 10 days I visited a practice in Nivaa, 48 miles north of Copenhagen. The practice has 3 partners with a patient number of 5,380.
I funded the travel expenses myself and the practice provided me with accommodation through one of the partners.
I had a fairly intense agenda and I participated in all the activities of the practice from normal clinics to on-call commitments, of course always as observer. I met the local GP trainees taking part in one of their vocational training meetings. My social activities were also numerous and I had time for sightseeing as well
I had a very interesting experience when I joined one of the district nurses for home visits. She said to me: "I hope you know how to ride a bicycle", "Why?", I replied. "Well because here we do home visits cycling", she answered. So I spend the day cycling in the rain visiting patients. I was pleased she was impressed by my cycling skills….
I do not speak a word of Danish, so with the exception of a couple of patients, who kindly volunteered to have their consultations in English, I could not follow the majority of the consultations. This problem was solved by the Danish GP who discussed the patients with me during or after the consultations. I was amazed to realise how much you can understand of the patient problems just studying body language when looking at them
Where to get more information
All necessary information about the programme is disseminated through the website of the programme: www.euract.org (click on resources).
How to organise the visit
Visit www.euract.org (under resources)
Choose the country you would like to visit.
Contact several host practices in the country you have chosen and ask for a visit.
Discuss dates and accommodation.
Arrange study leave with your trainer and inform your VTS course organiser.
Contact your Country Coordinator for input on funding possibilities
Enjoy the experience and encourage others to go Hippokrates.
Go Hippokrates and have a great and very rewarding experience !