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Faculty of Medicine

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In Fall 2014, the Johannes Kepler University (JKU) Linz added its fourth faculty, the Faculty of Medicine, which has been under the management of Prim. Univ. Prof. Dr. Petra Apfalter since October 1, 2015. Prof. Dr. Apfalter is also the JKU Vice-Rector of Medicine, recently succeeding Dean Prof. Ferdinand Hofstädter. The new Faculty of Medicine is a milestone in the JKU’s development and the university’s largest undertaking since the JKU was founded almost 50 years ago. In collaboration with the existing three faculties, Upper Austria will boast a modern hospital landscape that will have tremendous synergy potential with medically-related industries and local businesses. The Faculty of Medicine at the JKU will be a starting point to create a Medical Valley that will not only serve as a sustainable, driving force for the university, but also within Upper Austria and beyond its borders. Sixty-six institutes and departments at the JKU are already conducting medical and medically-related research.

Standing Shoulder-to-Shoulder to Assure Medical Standards

The realization of this project is a result of excellent cooperation between the Austrian federal government, Upper Austrian state government, the city of Linz, the Medical University of Graz, the Medical Society of Upper Austria, and the JKU. The unity demonstrated by everyone involved not only ensures the future education of medical doctors in Upper Austria, but will also offer research expertise in support of addressing social issues and problems that extend beyond Austria’s borders. The Faculty of Medicine‘s two specialized research areas, Clinical Research on Ageing and Health Services Research, will also be an integral part of the Bachelor’s degree program. These fields of research are unique in Austria and they are quickly becoming increasingly important areas of social research. These fields of research are not only conducive in support of conducting research with other medical universities, they also bring medical research results directly to the patients. In lieu of demographic developments, specific cancer research, dementia research, and medical technology are becoming increasingly important topics.

Unique University Cooperation

The Bachelor’s degree in Human Medicine is carried out jointly with the Medical University of Graz. The program is six semesters whereby subjects and modules taught during the first four semesters will be taught at the Medical University of Graz. During the fifth semester, students will return to the JKU to complete the program. The JKU accepted 60 students to the Bachelor’s degree program in Human Medicine for the 2014/2015 academic year. Over the next eight years, the program’s capacity will gradually expand to accepting 300 new medical students a year. In the context of the cooperation agreement between the universities, 120 students will be permanently posted in the pre-clinical program at the Medical University of Graz (300 when the program is in its full phase). The teaching and research cooperation agreement between Linz and Graz is unique in Austria and has enabled the program’s rapid launch as well as permanent cooperation in the field of pre-clinical teaching. Cooperation efforts will go beyond teaching to support fruitful collaboration in medically-oriented life science research, creating a strong “Pyhrn” axis.

32 Departments in the Planning Stages

The Faculty of Medicine will gradually add 24 clinical departments and 8 non-clinical departments. At the moment, the Faculty has no university clinics or institutes. The university is currently involved in organizing appointment procedures.

The Kepler University Hospital

The future Kepler University Hospital will be a joint effort between three renowned hospitals in Linz: The Linz General Hospital, the Linz State Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and the Wagner-Jauregg Provincial Neuropsychiastric Clinic. In the future, the Kepler University Hospital will serve as a healthcare facility as well as a place of teaching and research for professors and students at the Linz Faculty of Medicine.