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Medicine Linz Influence.
The structure and content of studies in Human Medicine at the JKU Linz are based on international recommendations to support continual development in medical studies.
Our strategy to draft the curricula for undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Human Medicine included these recommendations in order to derive the principles that form the cornerstones of curriculum development provided under the guidance of an international humanitarian founding commission. These principles are:
Becoming a physician includes basic education in medicine, psycho-social subjects and natural sciences. In addition to laying the program's groundwork and foundation, other components include developing a basic ethical and business-related perspective and mindset. Education at the JKU's Faculty of Medicine is geared toward the future practice of medicine and defining medical tasks and skills in order to understand a physician's holistic role in medicine. The faculty's forward-thinking direction in support of medical competence is especially reflected in the regulations pertaining to examinations. As a central component to support medical influence in Linz, a multi-dimensional examination system has been developed which, in addition to knowledge-based examinations, allows case-based, interdisciplinary and skill-oriented formats to take root.
Organ and Topic Centering
Conventional university curricula for studies in Human Medicine are divided into specialized medical areas, such as those found in the educational program for specialized fields. The JKU's Faculty of Medicine implements a consequent curriculum that not only outlines interdisciplinary, organ and topic-centered modules, but also takes the complexity of multi-causal pathogenesis, interdisciplinary diagnostics and therapy into account. In addition, the interdisciplinary design allows for the continual supplement of knowledge with a strong focus on new methods and technologies. To a certain extent, the subjects are integrated in the organ and topic-centered modules. This helps us to avoid the unnecessary repetition of educational content and make room for application and scientific-oriented teaching.
Horizontal and Vertical Integration
The curriculum features topic and organization-centered modules that will be consistently revised to include medical and theoretical subjects. Vertical integration means incorporating clinical teaching content in basic medicine (semesters 1-4) as well as deriving clinical content from the basic program to make it a part of our clinical education. Horizontal integration ensures interdisciplinary knowledge transfer as well as coordinating educational objectives and networking when conveying teaching content between modules in the clinical teaching part. In addition to a modular curriculum, longitudinal education in cross-module knowledge and medical skills will be offered in so-called 'tracks' and tailored to the module content.
Clinical Training and Patient Care
Patient care, hands-on learning in medicine, and expert capabilities build the cornerstones of education in Human Medicine in Linz. Starting with the first semester to the clinical-training year towards the end of the program, students complete their required internships in small groups, allowing them to engage in medical discussions and learn patient examination and intervention techniques from the start. The Clinical Skills Lab simulates a realistic clinical environment and has been designed to help prepare students learn patient care skills and become capable medical practitioners. Beginning in the fifth semester, students complete a clinical internship weekly rotating at university hospitals and departments at the Kepler University Hospital or at other partner institutions. There we focus on medical practice, patient care, and professional collaboration from the beginning. The JKU Faculty of Medicine works closely with local organizations and associations in the field of general medicine in order to devise the educational concept for the program. The program includes courses taught by many general practitioners who strive to provide students with real-world education in medical studies. In addition to mandatory courses that include specialized classes and internships, students can fulfill elective, internship and clinical practice-year requirements by choosing courses in specialized fields of study.
Effectiveness of Care
The Faculty of Medicine at the Johannes Kepler University focuses strongly on healthcare research. Medical decisions have clinical, economic, ethical, social and legal implications and we strongly believe medical education should include structuring skills in the area of impact assessement. Today's physicians need to be aware of the various implications and take them into account during the decision-making process. By consistently making the effectiveness of care a part of all clinical modules beginning during the fifth semester of studies, we aim to support a systematic and holistic understanding of medical practice. This is a key principle in the Linz Influence in Medicine.
Problem-based and Evidence-based Education
Education in theory still includes a strong emphasis on practical, hands-on aspects. This means instruction is purposive, problem-oriented and structured according to actual medical cases. An important part of teaching includes interactively handling case vignettes, whereby case-by-case skills are supported on the basis of taking clinical problems, evidence-based medicine, and empirical principles into account. The course content is based on published data by the clinic and primary care physicians as well as on case demonstrations found in everyday medical practice. Different teaching formats and forms of examination take this principle into account.
Important educational elements include conveying sound scientific knowledge and academic concepts as well as providing constructive insight into how to conduct methodological, scientific work. The curriculum and teaching methods have largely been designed to allow students to understand and critically discuss hypotheses, concepts and methods as well as their relevance to medicine on a scientific basis. This enables students to assess and apply new research findings in the medical field. Students are required to submit both a Bachelor's and a Master's thesis, allowing them to apply and deepen their scientific expertise.