THE PATH OF LEARNING LEADS TO THE ROAD OF KNOWLEDGE
Education of Highly Qualified Physicians
In an intensive reform process, which began in 1998, the Medical University of Vienna established an educational concept that sets new standards of quality: the Medical Curriculum of Vienna (MCV).
At the core of the new curriculum, which was developed in consultation with models and analyses of the most contemporary medical education programs, is the principle of integrative and problem-oriented learning. Our graduate study in human and dental medicine has been recast completely. As early as the third semester, students learn basic medical skills and no longer study anatomy, pharmacology, and pathology “in isolation.” The teaching of medical competence with the MCV proceeds step-by-step in topic-oriented modules. Courses on medical skills run parallel to these modules and are refined in the clinical third phase of the study.
Internationally Groundbreaking Pedagogical Methods
In the learning module dedicated to the heart, blood and circulation, for example, students acquire detailed relevant knowledge about the structure, development, and function of each, as well as the most frequent and significant cardiac and circulatory diseases. In the module on the brain, nervous system, and pain students learn imaging diagnostics, neurological examination methods, and the latest findings in analgesic research in conjunction with the anatomical basics of the brain and nervous system. With this internationally respected method of integrated learning it is possible to initiate an ever-expanding learning spiral that significantly eases the student’s comprehension of interconnectedness.
In facilitating problem-solving competence, the MCV employs another groundbreaking didactic technique. With problem-oriented learning (POL) students must develop strategies and problem-solving methods for practical occupational problems independently and under supervision throughout their studies. The “POL-Cases” correspond in this regard to the parallel knowledge modules. They also relate to relevant diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities, e.g. SARS, and everyday medical problems such as dealing with patient anxiety.
Facilitating Communicative and Social Competence
The goal of this educational reform is to enhance the medical-scientific quality of graduates on all levels. Therefore, the new MCV places special emphasis on facilitating the students’ communicative and social skills in their interaction with patients, as well on the development of a well-reasoned ethical foundation (“attitude”). Students of the Medical Curriculum Vienna complete the 12-semester graduate program in medicine with the title “Dr. med. univ.” (M.D.) or “Dr. med. dent.” (D.D.S.). In the process they attain the right to participate in the four-semester doctoral study of medicine (“Dr. sci. Med.”), which affords a further intensifying level of scientific education.