Our International Federation of Medical Students' Associations of Brazil is very proud to welcome you in our hot tropical lands. Everything we have prepared here is a result of our hard-word, sweat and love, and our objective is that your student not only has the most fun possible, but has a new kind of experience, surrounded by people who love traveling, medicine and exploring new places.
After all, One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things! So please enjoy everything here and we hope you get to know, care and love our country as much as we do!!
COME TO IFMSA BRAZIL!
A country for everyone
Brazil is unique for its richness of nature, culture, economy and history. This lends the country a Wonderland quality, with countless tourist attractions, and diversity as our main instrument to fulfill this potential. Beaches, forests, mountains, rivers, festivals, diversified cuisine, national parks, and historical towns are scattered among 26 states and the Federal District, where the Capital, Brasília, is located.
This racial mixture has generated a nation of happy, sharing people, a country where all come together under their differences and diversity, in an environment of peaceful coexistence. We are indeed, a country for everyone. In addition, our economic growth allied to the country’s strategic position in the South American makes us a focal point for attracting technical, commercial and social events, which in conjunction with the leisure options, define Brazil as a special country, with such a plethora of travel opportunities on offer.
Understand what to expect from the Brazilian medical system…
The National Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde - SUS) is one of the largest public health systems in the world. It ranges from simple outpatient care to organ transplants, ensuring full access, universal and free for the entire population of the country.
Bolstered by an expanded concept of health, the SUS was created in 1988 by the Brazilian Federal Constitution, to be the health system of more than 200 million Brazilians. In addition to offering consultations, examinations and admissions, the system also promotes vaccination campaigns and preventive actions and health surveillance - as surveillance of food and drug registration - thereby reaching the lives of each of the Brazilians.
Government-funded health care
Health care in Brazil is funded by the Brazilian Government. The Ministry of Health (Ministério da Saúde) is responsible for public health services, government hospitals (also known as Municipal Hospitals) and medical services. Any legal citizens, including foreign residents, are entitled to free healthcare at a public clinic or hospital by producing an RG (Brazilian identification card) and an SUS card (Cartão SUS).
Government-funded hospitals and clinics offer good medical services. However, government hospitals are often crowded because they are free. Waiting times can be long and the facilities may not be as good as those found in private hospitals (such as air-conditioning or certain items of medical equipment). This is especially true in rural areas. Around 70 per cent of Brazilian residents use public hospitals, while the rest opt for private hospital visits, which they either pay for themselves or which are covered by private medical insurance. Foreigners may use private hospitals but will be charged for the visit.
Around 70 per cent of Brazilian residents use public hospitals, while the rest opt for private hospital visits, which they either pay for themselves or which are covered by private medical insurance. Foreigners may use private hospitals but will be charged for the visit.
The Brazilian Government oversees public health programmes such as Farmácia Popular whose aim is to make essential medications and drugs readily available for the population (at affordable prices) in pharmacies throughout Brazil.
The private sector
Most of the private hospitals in Brazil have excellent medical facilities and Brazil is one of the leading medical tourism destinations in South America.
The SUS card (Cartão SUS)
Brazil's Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde) is normally known simply as SUS. This is a collective term for the public, private, and supplemental healthcare systems. To access any of these, an SUS card (Cartão Nacional de Saúde - SUS) is needed.
The SUS card has recently been replaced with an electronic National Health identification card system. The only difference between the old SUS card and the new National Health Identification card is the addition of a personal identification number. This number allows a patient's health record to be accessed via a central database from any public or private hospital within the Unified Health System network.
The aim of the card is to create a better system of coordination between public and private sector healthcare institutions regulated by the Health Agency (Agência de Saúde Suplementar). Despite the new name, the National Health Identification Card is still commonly referred to as an SUS card.
The Brazilian medical schools follow the European model of a six year curriculum, divided into three cycles of two years each. The first two years are called basic cycle (ciclo básico). During this time students are instructed in the basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, immunology etc.) with activities integrated with the medical specialties, allowing the student an overview of the practical application of such content. Since then medical schools provide students direct contact with patients. After its completion, the students advance to the clinical cycle (ciclo clinico). At this stage contacts with patients intensify and work with tests and diagnostics, putting into practice what was learned in the first two years. The last two are called cycle internship (ciclo do internato). In this last step, the students focus on clinical practice, through training in teaching hospitals and clinics. The teaching of this last step respecting an axis of increasing complexity, enabling students to make decisions and participate effectively in form and operative care under the direct supervision of faculty and qualified to act as teaching aids physicians. The performance of the internal develops redemption of ethical and humanistic dimensions of care, causing the student to recognize the values and principles that guide the physician-patient relationship.
After six years of training, students graduate and are awarded the title of physician (Médico) allowing them to register with the Regional Council of Medicine (Conselho Regional de Medicina). The recent graduate will be able to exercise the medical profession as a general practitioner and may apply to undertake postgraduate training.
Due to its geographical positioning, as well as its status as a popular tourist destination and provider of goods for foreign export, Brazil is a relatively well-connected country. There are several airports that connect to international destinations in Brazil, and many more that offer domestic flights. As Brazil is such a large country, air travel is often the quickest and easiest way to get from one area of the country to another. It is possible to travel around Brazil, and even across the national border, by bus, however, the size of the country means that bus travel in Brazil can prove extremely lengthy and time-consuming. Very few passenger rail services operate in Brazil, however, there are metro systems in eight of Brazil’s largest cities. In the end, the principal means of transport used in Brazil are plane and bus.
By plane, you can go to wherever you want. But we give you a helpful recommendation: buy your tickets in advance! With this, you can buy them at a cheaper price!
Here you have the main Brazilian airlines:
You can go to their websites and look for the best prices!
17 stunning places in Brazil you need to see before you die:
1. Chapada Diamantina: Where is it: Bahia.
Why you should go: This area is famous for being the center of the diamond rush in the 19th century (Hence the name: Diamantina makes reference to diamonds). The caves are perfect spots for breathtaking photos.
2. Fernando de Noronha: Where is it: An archipelago of 21 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean.
Why you should go: Great for snorkeling, scuba diving and enjoying the wildlife. In 2001 UNESCO declared Fernando de Noronha a World Heritage Site.
3. Corcovado: Where is it: Rio de Janeiro.
Why you should go: This iconic image of Christ is not only one of the main attractions of this marvelous city, but also a perfect spot for stunningly beautiful photos of the bay. Be ready to deal with hordes of tourists competing for the best selfie pose.
4. Jericoacoara: Where is it: Ceará
Why you should go: If you’re tired of your city’s noise this is the perfect place to be. Away from everything, this small fishing village is perfect to relax, sunbathe, and practice some sand-board on the immense dunes it’s surrounded by.
5. Praça dos Três Poderes: Where is it: Brasilia.
Why you should go: This plaza was designed by legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa and the buildings are, obviously, beautiful. The name comes from the presence of the three governmental powers.
6. Ouro Preto: Where is it: Minas Gerais.
Why you should go: If you love baroque architecture and stunning churches, this is the place to be.
7. Chapada dos Veadeiros: Where is it: Goias.
Why you should go: This national park is estimated to be 1.8 BILLION years old. And all those years have made this place magical and beautiful. Some even say the rocks have healing powers.
8. Amazon River: Where is it: Being the second longest river in the world, it touches on several different states of the country.
Why you should go: Endless possibilities! Exploring the rainforest, meeting the indigenous tribes that live along the water, seeing all the fauna and flora. Should I keep going or are you already packing your bags?
9. Lençóis Maranhenses: Where is it: Maranhão.
Why you should go: Have you seen the photos above? Need more reasons? OK, the best time to go is between July and September — rain season – where water collects in between the dunes.
10. Terraço Itália: Where is it: São Paulo.
Why you should go: Breathtaking views of one of the biggest cities in the country. Add a drink to that and you’re set for the day.
11. Chapada dos Guimarães: Where is it: Mato Grosso.
Why you should go: Waterfalls, wildlife, endless and breathtaking views… Need anything else?
12. Bonito: Where is it: Mato Grosso do Sul
Why you should go: Rivers here are some of the clearest in the world, and because of the sediments some are bright blue. The ideal place to hike, swim, paddle, dive, and raft.
13. Monte Roraima: Where is it: Roraima.
Why you should go: The tabletop mountains are considered some of the oldest geological formations. Great for hiking!
14. Porto de Galinhas: Where is it: Pernambuco.
Why you should go: Natural pools and crystalline blue water, do you need anything else to kick back and relax?
15. Cataratas do Iguaçu: Where is it: Iguaçu.
Why you should go: These falls are a border to Brazil and Argentina. You can either ride a helicopter above the falls or walk on a walkway toward the ‘Devil’s throat.’
16. Inhotim: Where is it: Minas Gerais.
Why you should go: It is an open sky contemporary art museum. Sold?
17.Pipa: Where is it: Natal
Why you should go: To get your body sun kissed in amazing beaches with warm water, obviously.
Definitely one of the most importants and more discussed thems related to exchanges is the famous Academic Quality. Thinking on improving ours, aiming the biggest number of Local Committees having recognition, we are working hard with capacitations of our LEOs and with the creation of new materials, which will be available for our incomings.
-Survival Guides: Brazil is a country with continent proportions and with a huge diversity on accents, people, ways of living, traditions.. It just can not be reduced as just one country! Thinking on the plenty of local committess, 65 more exactly, incomings can be allocated, we thought in ways of making all the foreign more confortable and aware of the cities they will be living for 4 weeks. That is why we work hard on the formulation of guides for every single city, disposing informations about the organization of local team, important and emergency contacts, a breith view about the department the students is going to join and also about the tutor, the schedule of the local social program, maps, bus lines, importante points and must-sees of the city and also a Mini Dictionaire, with common and useful Brazilian portuguese expressions.
-Pre-arrival Guide: Information is never too much. This guide is provided for the incomings before their arrival in Brazil, thinking on making easier all the way here. It has detailed information about how to get in the city they will be living, with saving-money tips, for example. It also has a checklist of important items that must be brought to the Exchange and general infomartion about city weather, for example.
-DrivINCOMING: Eighty percent of the incomings students will be joining services integrated with SUS and thinking about introducing all of them in our Public Health System and also allowing the raising of a critical sight about it, checking all of its potential, strengh and also weakness, we created the DrivINCOMING.
This file will be used and available for all incomings who chose IFMSA Brazil’s exchange as their changing life experience. It consists on an online platform, in which will be disposable records, presentation, published articles and news about what is on the trendy-topics of health in brazil. It will work as an Pre-arrival capacitation. With the infos available, all the students have th oportunity to get familiar with how really works health system in Brazil.
The drivincoming is a way of increasing the academic quality of our exchanges, since the students already arrive in our warm land knowing a bit more. It reduces cultural shocks and make the hole experience much more enjoyable.
With all these instruments we are certain our incomings feel more safe and confident about their choice of an IFMSA Brazil Exchange.