Vasco da Gama Movement prizes

The Vasco da Gama Movement (VdGM) is pleased to announce that the winners of this year's Hippokrates Exchange and Carosino Prizes are:

  1. Dr Pedro Miguel Oliveira Azevedo (Hippokrates Exchange Prize) 
  2. Dr Fabrizia Farolfi (Carosino Prize)

Dr Fabrizia Farolfi winner of the Carosino Prize

The Carosino Prize, offered by the Vasco da Gama Movement and EURIPA is a prize of 700 Euros for the best completed Hippokrates exchange to a rural practice in 2010 or 2011. An additional Hippokrates Exchange Prize has been awarded for the best Hippokrates exchange at either a rural or urban practice in 2010 or 2011. The prizes are only redeemable for attendance at the WONCA Europe 2012 Conference, in Vienna. The winners will take part in the VdGM general meeting and EURIPA / VdGM joint workshop and will also be invited to submit their report in the European Journal of General Practice. Applications were reviewed and winners selected by a panel appointed by Vasco da Gama Movement, EURIPA & WONCA Europe.

Vasco da Gama Movement would like to thank every single participant of this first edition of the Hippokrates and Carosino Prizes. Their participation was essential for the success of this very special project!

We also wish to express our warm appreciation to EURIPA and WONCA Europe for their kind support of the project, and our sincere gratitude to Dr Per Kallestrup, Dr Tony Mathie and Dr Jaume Vidiella Banque for their enriching cooperation. Last but not least, we would like to acknowledge all the national exchange coordinators for their effort in finding the participants and in promoting the prizes in their countries.

Dr Harris Lygidakis
Vasco da Gama Executive Group,
Image Liaison

About the Hippokrates

Exchange If every special moment deserves a special place, Vienna and next WONCA Europe Congress are the perfect location for the Hippokrates and Carosino Prizes ceremony. With the kind support of EURIPA and WONCA Europe, the Vasco da Gama Movement will award Dr Pedro Azevedo, from Portugal and Dr Fabrizia Farolfi, from Italy, as winners of the best Hippokrates Exchange and the best Rural Exchange - right where it all started 12 years ago - in Vienna, Austria.

The Hippokrates Progamme was launched, under the auspices of EURACT, by Dr Per Kallestrup, a general practitioner from Denmark, at the 6th European Conference on General Practice & Family Doctors (WONCA Europe 2000) also held in Vienna.

Hippokrates is an exchange programme for medical doctors specialising in family medicine/ general practice and junior family doctors/ general practitioners (within five years of completing specialty training).

The aim of Hippokrates is to encourage exchange and mobility among young doctors in the course of their professional formation as general practitioners; thus providing a broader perspective to the concepts of family medicine at both professional and personal levels. It also enables participants to exchange best practices and acquire new skills and knowledge about clinical care and health systems. It also offers an introduction to working in another country which can enable future competitiveness of the European labour market.

Participants of the programme 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 a 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. 

Dr Sara Rigon of the VdGM wearing the new VdGM T-shirt which will be available for purchase at WONCA Europe Vienna

Furthermore, the programme 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. 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, specialising in family medicine; and will be encouraged to gain insight into local resources and quality improvement activities, as well as local healthcare structures.

In the pilot phase of the programme there were five participating countries: Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. In the last 12 years new participating countries have joined and currently the programme offers placements in 23 different nations within Europe. In recent years thanks the Hippokrates Exchange Programme has grown tremendously thanks to the 'Leonardo Mobility Programme'. The Leonardo da Vinci Programme is part of the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme, which funds many different types of activities of varying scales. It enables organisations in the vocational education sector to work with partners from across Europe, exchange best practices, and increase their staff’s expertise. It should make vocational education more attractive to young people and, by helping people to gain new skills, knowledge and qualifications.

In 2010, UK and Slovenia were awarded ‘Leonardo’ funding to support a number of outgoing Hippokrates exchange participants. Last year, the Czech Republic and Austria have been granted European Commission’s funds enabling many more young family doctors to experience these valuable exchanges.

Apart from funds which clearly helped the Hippokrates Programme to expand, the Leonardo da Vinci Programme is responsible for a specific development and growth of Hippokrates, as bilateral exchanges really maximise the acquisition of knowledge and new skills.

In memory of Claudio Carosino

The latest development in the Hippokrates Programme is the institution of exchanges in rural areas, a tribute to a great man and general practitioner, Dr Claudio Carosino shot to death by a patient during a home visit, in 2010 (reported in WONCA News February 2011).

Dr Claudio Carosino was a popular rural general practitioner in Bussetto (Parma, Italy), esteemed by his colleagues and appreciated by his patients; a natural ambassador and diplomat in the field of Rural Health Care in the words of Dr John Wynn- Jones, president of European Rural and Isolated Practitioners Association (EURIPA). Enthusiastic, dynamic, he promoted research in rural practice as member of the European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN) and as well as the EURIPA Research Group.

A shocking loss not only for the rural general practice - led to the obligation to honor and remember him and thus a prize for the best rural exchange was established in his name, the Carosino Prize.

Thanks to this initiative, VdGM and EURIPA were able to recruit more than twenty rural general practices, in eight different European Countries; where junior GP and GP trainees are now able to experience the value of a Hippokrates Programme, in a rural area.

….. Back in Vienna after 12 years, Hippokrates has a lot to celebrate and the first Exchange Prize is only the beginning.

Dr Sara Rigon
Hippokrates Exchange Co-ordinator
Vasco da Gama Movement