WONCA Europe

About Hippokrates

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 formation 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.

Becoming 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 in the 'Hippokrates Template' section. 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.

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