What is the Trainee Exchange Programme?

Europe is justly proud of its medical training. We have many world-famous Medical Schools, and centres of expertise in anaesthesiology, intensive care, and pain medicine. The ESAIC knows that these centres could provide a wide range of excellent training and would like to make this available to suitable European trainees. Such trainees might be drawn from those who hope to obtain in-depth training in certain fields or promising young doctors from departments that do not yet have sufficient facilities for training in their own centres. We are keen to encourage such trainees to visit recognised centres in other countries, to spend sufficient time there to gain experience and return to their own centres in Europe with knowledge and skills to pass on to others.

The ESAIC Trainee Exchange Programme Committee aims to select the best European trainees and allow them to visit, for a period of 3 months training, the best training centres that Europe can offer. Criteria have been established to allow the ESAIC to identify the best and most promising trainees from Europe, and the centres which can offer the best of teaching and experience in Europe: with grants sufficient to cover the cost of accommodation, living expenses, travel and learning in these centres, the ESAIC seeks to mix together the two ingredients, for the primary benefit of the trainees in Europe.

The ESAIC Trainee Exchange Programme is administered by the Trainee Exchange Programme Committee.

All winners of the ESAIC Trainee Exchange Programme will be fully covered for the time of their exchange by AIG Travel Insurance: www.aig.be

Application Process

Host Centre Application

Identifying centres willing and capable to support this programme and to accept one or more trainees for three months at a time is a critical component of this programme. The ESAIC is now actively recruiting centres that would be willing to accept trainees for three-month periods. We expect that these will be well known, recognised centres with a large volume of clinical activity and excellent facilities for teaching. Applications should be made to the ESAIC Secretariat – Trainee Exchange Programme Committee. The allocation will be carried out by the Trainee Exchange Programme Committee, and the Board will be closely monitoring the success of the scheme.

For this project to be successful, it will be essential to offer trainee exchange programmes of a variety that will attract and educate the candidates. We expect that former trainee exchange programme participants will be future leaders, who retain links with, and affection for, their previous training centre!

Hospitals that wish to participate in this programme and become a Host Centre may submit an application to the ESAIC Secretariat.

Application Process


  • What about funding?

    Award amounts will be provided up to a maximum of 8,000 € for each three month Trainee exchange. Amounts awarded will include a first award to cover travel and first month expenses followed by subsequent awards subject to a first month evaluation. Award amounts will also depend on type of accommodation available at the host centre, cost of living in the host country and any other criteria deemed appropriate by the Trainee Exchange Programme Committee.

    Financial support would get most doctors towards the top of that well known gradient, the “learning curve”. However, in the longer term, we are certain that providing our best young people the opportunity to enhance their training will prove to be for the greater benefit of European anaesthesia in general.

    Europe as defined by the World Health Organisation

  • Medical Tourism: Training in another country?

    Particularly in the UK, trainees in anaesthesiology or intensive care often spend a year training in another country. This was known as the “BTA” which used to mean “Been to America” and now more often means “Been to Australia”. Well-chosen training posts were often formative, with advantage to the sending centre, the trainee, and the centre that received the trainee. However these “years out” could often be more of a tourist opportunity, and much of the learning takes place in the first 3 months. Since the UK, North America, and Oz (Australia) have approximately the same language, such transfers are easy.

  • Benefits for home and abroad?

    For Europe, we propose a more concentrated and formative scheme. Selected trainees would be supported by a grant from the ESAIC so that financial problems would not distract from the learning experience. Free of the problems of arranging employment, and with centres chosen to offer excellent training in specific topics, we believe that in three months a trainee will absorb a great deal of new clinical experience, and return with new skills and enthusiasm, ready to pass the benefits on to other trainees at home. The scheme will be open to both trainees and to young staff, who might particularly be able to add to their home training programme.

  • Do I have to speak the local language of the centre I am applying to?

    This depends on the host centre. In the list of Host Centres, it is indicated which languages are required in order for you to carry out the exchange.

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