The first standing committee within IFMSA was the Standing Committee on Professional Exchange (SCOPE) in 1951. It started small, beginning with only 8 European countries, but since then has grown into one of the largest student-run exchange program in the world, with more than 1.5 million medical students from 97 National Member Organizations participating until today. The SCOPE exchange program is a quality educational and cultural experience organized entirely by medical students with the help of their medical faculties. 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. SCOPE 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”. Since 2003 until today, 103.354 students went on exchange with SCOPE, in 97 National Member Organizations and 923 Local Committees & universities around the world.
VISION & MISSION
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. IFMSA unites medical students worldwide to lead initiatives that impact positively the communities we serve. IFMSA represents the opinions and ideas of future health professionals in the field of global health, and works in collaboration with external partners. IFMSA builds capacity through training, project, and exchanges opportunities, while embracing cultural diversity so as to shape a sustainable and healthy future.
- To increase the mobility and to widen the horizon of medical students worldwide;
- To provide medical students with the possibility to experience healthcare in another culture with different health and education systems, and to IFMSA Exchanges learn how differences in culture and believes are of influence;
- To create possibilities for medical students to learn about global health issues, primary health concerns and basic epidemiology of the host country, and how it differs from their home country;
- To contribute to the education of a future health professionals with a global vision and to contribute to medical students’ personal development, self- reliance and openness in becoming future health professionals;
- To provide students with the chance to improve their medical knowledge, their vision on medical issues and their practical knowledge depending on the regulations of the host country;
- To facilitate the connection of medical students and other health professionals and to provide a platform for future cooperation amongst medical students with each other and with health professionals across the globe;
- To maintain affordable professional exchange tuition through its governing body to ensure that medical students within the National Member Organizations can participate in the exchanges with a minimal financial burden;
- To make sure students are aware of the ethical aspects regarding their exchange to assure the burden on society, patients, the recourses and the healthcare system is as limited as possible;
- To promote tolerance towards differences and similarities within health and towards patients regardless of their sex, religion, or believes.