Pre-Departure Training FMSS

Global health and international health are growing interest fields amongst students. Most of the students interested will complete an international internship or elective. Facing this rising demand from students, the Bureau des relations internationals (BRI) of the faculty of medicine and health science of Université de Sherbrooke (FMSS) has agreed to put emphasis on pre-departure training for all students completing an internship abroad.

On the other side of the fence and following the success of many editions of the immersion program, the SCOI was looking forward to build up a partnership with the medical faculties since 2011. The SCOI wanted to make sure to implement a rigorous pre-departure training approaching more than simple logistics and rather covering the ethical considerations, the transversal cultural competency, the development and philosophy of global health.

Seeing that the two had common objectives, the FMSS initiated a partnership with the SCOI in the spring of 2012 to provide a preparation of quality to its students completing rotations abroad. The partnership FMSS/SCOI now allows to the two organizations to deliver more pre-departure trainings that are relevant to medical students and that correspond to the need of the students and realities that the hosting communities are facing.

The 2014-2015 program

The BRI will offer twice this year a full weekend of pre-departure training with a debriefing day following the experience. This training is offered to students from the different programs of the faculty who plan to go on an elective abroad, be it credited or not (often summer internship), and even more recommended for low-ressources settings. Moreover, students not planning to do such rotations but who have a strong interest can also participate.

The program’s objectives

The program aims to provided an adequate preparation to all students from the faculty of medicine and health science of Université de Sherbrooke in order for them to be aware of their limits as well as the consequences of their presence. It also aims to provide them with the best intercultural communication tools in the treating team so that their presence does not have negative consequences in the hosting community.

The expected result on the short-term is to increase awareness so that there is a net beneficial impact in the hosting community. On the long-term, it is hoped to see a significant impact on the student’s understanding of medicine and way to practice medicine. These results are hard to evaluate quantitatively, hence the qualitative evaluation done during the debriefing day of the program.

For more information

Yassen Tcholakov
Coordinator of the FMSS/SCOI pre-departure training program