Summer School on refugee & migrant health
When & Where: 11th September – 15th September 2023 – Bern, Switzerland
16th October – 21st October 2023 – Lesbos, Greece
All healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, psychologists, public health specialists, humanitarian aid workers, …), as well as students at the end of their master’s degree / PhD, who are already working with refugees / migrants or who intend to do so in the near future. Furthermore all professions (e.g. social workers,,..) from various sectors (NGO, governmental, private…), working within the medical healthcare of migrants and refugees, who wish to broaden and deepen their knowledge within the field of public & global health care. We welcome participants from Switzerland and all over the world.
Given the ongoing migration around the world, it is not surprising that we are increasingly treating patients with a direct or indirect migration background in medical practice as well. This poses special challenges for the health professionals involved.
The Summer School on Refugee and Migrant Health offers a unique opportunity to impart specialist and background knowledge in the field of migration and refugee healthcare and to prepare health professionals for the challenges and special features in the treatment of patients with a migration background. Moreover, we encourage networking and multidisciplinary exchange between peers and experts, in order to bring people together and thus to create synergies and bundle resources. Participants will learn firsthand through lectures and exchange with national and international experts within the field of refugee and migrant healthcare. Additionally, innovative learning scenarios support the transfer of knowledge from theory to practice in the field of clinical work and the management of public health projects. Through challenge-based learning, participants will be able to acquire and use their own skills to face some of the most pressing problems and to find potential solutions by formulating specific action / project plans to overcome challenges in the provision of healthcare to refugees and migrants.
1st week (clinical focus): Introduction to healthcare of refugees and migrants, the importance of interdisciplinary team work and interprofessional cooperation and intensive training in transcultural competence. A special focus this year lies on the introduction to different medical care models in refugee shelters in Switzerland with on-site visits. Additionally there will be a hands-on workshop, where possible applications of point-of-care ultrasound will be outlined, including capabilities and limitations of portable ultrasound diagnostics and participants will have the opportunity to practice the direct application and handling of handheld sonography. Knowledge and skills are imparted in a very practical manner by national and international specialists and through participation in case studies and simulations / exercises. In addition, there are accompanying breakout-sessions with the experts, in order to network and to be able to ask questions and apply what has been learned.
2nd week (public health (research) project planning): The second week of the Summer School focuses on the planning & implementation of public health projects and the response to humanitarian crisis within refugee and migrant healthcare. Participants will learn first hand about vulnerability assessments, camp & epidemics management and how to plan a project by applying project cycle management and the sphere guidelines. In table top exercises, the participants will apply the knowledge and gain valuable hands-on experiences. A special simulation deals with the rescue of a refugee boat, which is organized together with the coast guard and where each participant is involved in the provision of medical care to refugees according to his/her background (e.g. in triage, coordination, psychological first aid, medical care, media spokesperson,…). This course will be co-organized with the MSc Global Health and Disaster Medicine-School of Medicine-National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA)-Greece, that has develloped the basic curriculum design and has been running a similar course in Greece for more than a decade. Civil society, International NGOs, UN bodies and Governmental Organizations have been an integral part of this course by providing facilitators and sharing their operational experiences. Trying to simulate this ecosystem, a number of external speakers have been invited.
Swiss Symposium on Refugee and Migrant Health:
All participants of the Summer-School can participate in the Symposium and Workshops.
Innovative Design and Activities:
– Interdisciplinary setting & networking with peers & experts from Switzerland & globally
– Innovative, interactive learning scenarios:
-> hands-on seminar (incl. handheld ultrasound)
-> case studies & simulations / exercises (incl. boat rescue exercise)
-> Insight into different medical care models in refugee shelters in Switzerland and Greece
-> lectures by national and international experts
– Participation in workshops and program of the Swiss Refugee and Migrant Health Symposium
Overarching learning goals:
– Gaining competencies in the medical care of patients with a migration background
– Gaining skills in the management of public health projects
After the course you will be able to:
– recognise interdisciplinary challenges & interactions within the healthcare of refugees and migrants and have acquired the necessary skills and tools to be able to react to these.
– apply these skills in your own clinical routine
– apply the concept of transcultural competence
– have a conversation in a transcultural setting with an interpreter
– plan PH/research projects in a structured manner
– recognize which resources are available and which actors are & must be involved for the success of the project or best health outcome (required cooperation of many interdisciplinary actors)
Responsible for the concept and program of the summer school: Dr. Anne Jachmann
Program may be subject to change (current version will always be displayed here):
You can find the detailed plan here.
1st week: Friday – 11th September – 15th of September (8:30 – 17:30)
Monday – Friday mornings: Training & Lectures
Monday – Friday afternoons: Exercises & Lectures
Friday – Swiss Symposium on refugee & migrant health
Speakers (list is subject to change):
– Prof. Patrick Bodenmann, University of Lausanne/Unisanté
– Prof. Aristomenis Exadaktylos, Emergency Department, University Hospital Bern (Inselspital)
– Prof. Daniel Paris, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel
– Prof. Adam Brown, New School for Social Research, New York
– Dr. Eleni Kakalou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
– Prof. Bernhard Schaller, Academic teaching practice of the Institutes of Family Medicine of the Universities of Basel and Bern
– Prof. Yves Jackson, Division of primary care medicine, Geneva University Hospital and University of Geneva
– Dr. Afona Chernet, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel
– Prof. Eva Cignacco Müller, Bern University of Applied Sciences
– Dr. Agis Tercidis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
– Dr. Anna Eichenberger, Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Bern (Inselspital)
– Dr. Karsten Klingberg, Emergency Department, University Hospital Bern (Inselspital)
– Prof. Emmanouil Pikoulis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
– Dr. Evika Karamagioli, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
– Dr. Alena Kamenshchikova, Assistant Professor, Department of Health, Ethics and Society, Department of Social Medicine and Department of Medical Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Infection Prevention at Maastricht University
Apply now if you are not to miss this great opportunity.
You will be notified as soon as possible if your application has been successful. Your registration is completed and valid only once full payment has been received.
– CHF 1300 for the complete 2 weeks
– CHF 575 1st week (4 days + Symposium)
– CHF 825 2nd week (6 days)
– CHF 150 per day
Included in the price:
Fee for course (summer school, workshops, Symposium) and course material, lunches (sandwich) & coffee breaks. The price does not include travel costs, accommodation or insurance.
For participants who have applied and been accepted to the course, but who subsequently withdraw:
Cancellations up until 31st of August 2023: We will refund the fee paid minus CHF 100 to cover administration and banking fees.
For cancellations after 31st of August 2023, there will be no refund.
The number of participants is limited to 20 (for Greece 10). We aim to have a lively, international and interdisciplinary group of participants with a balanced number of different professions. Since this is an interactive program, we encourage people to participate in the Summer School who enjoy to engage with peers and experts.
Who may apply?
All healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, psychologists, public health specialists, humanitarian aid workers, …), as well as students at the end of their master’s degree / PhD, who are already working with refugees / migrants or who intend to do so in the near future. Furthermore, all professions (e.g. social workers,,..) from various sectors (NGO, governmental, private…), working within the medical healthcare of migrants and refugees who wish to broaden and deepen their knowledge within the field of public & global health care. We welcome participants from Switzerland and all over the world.
Level of English:
Given the interactive design of the course, an adequate level of English is expected. We do not require an English language certificate, but every participant should be able to follow the lectures, read scientific articles in English, to actively participate in the group work and discussions and to give a presentation.
ECTS and Continuing Education Credits:
By participating in the summer school, you can receive the following continuing education credits & ECTS (amount for the complete 2 weeks, correspondingly lower share for fewer days):
SGNOR (Swiss Professional Society for Emergency and Rescue Medicine): Credits
SSAPM (Swiss Society for Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine): Credits
SGC (Swiss Professional Society for Surgery): Credits
ECTS (University of Bern): 4
Acknowledgement of the ECTS points in the study programs at home institutions other than the University of Bern is the responsibility of the participants.
There are several B&B, hostels, student accommodation and hotels near the Summer School venues. Upon request, we can assist in booking an accommodation. Especially for Lesbos, we can organize double rooms for sharing or single rooms (prices range from 35 – 90€ / night with breakfast in 3-star hotels).
Social/ Leisure time activities:
There are plenty of activities to do in Bern and its surroundings, including swimming in the Aare river, taking a hike in the alps or exploring Bern’s old city centre.
Lesbos offers beautiful beaches, multiple archaeological sites, picturesque towns and villages with traditional food (olive oil and Ouzo production) and a diverse landscape, which is ideal for hiking.
Bern is easily accessible by bus or train and has its own airport. Furthermore, there are direct trains from Basel central train station (15min by bus from Basel Airport) or Zurich and Geneva Airport to Bern’s central train station.
Mytilini is accessible by ferry or airplane. From the airport you can take a taxi (app. 15€) or the bus to the city centre.
Please make sure you have a valid health and accident insurance which will cover your stay in Switzerland and Greece.
Participants are responsible for checking whether they need a visa for Switzerland and Greece.
Public Transportation in Bern:
You can easily get around the city by foot or rent a bicycle. There are also buses and tram, which connect the whole city. Please explore options: https://www.bern.com/en/detail/public-transport
For questions on the content or organisation of the summer school intensive course please contact: email@example.com
Previous Summer Schools
You can find the detailed program plan here.