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After 48 weeks in the clinic, students in the first year of clinical practice return to the Medical University of Vienna [the “Return Week”]

(Vienna, 15-07-2015) The students at the Medical University of Vienna have successfully completed their first year of clinical practical (KPJ). Students in their 6th year have now returned to the Medical University of Vienna [the “Return Week”]. 

This year for the first time, the year of clinical practice was included in the curriculum of the medical course in the Medical University of Vienna. During the course of 48 weeks, the 6-year students gained experience of practical clinical work in accredited teaching and university hospitals. This covered the 4-month periods in Internal Medicine and Surgical and Perioperative Subjects, as well as one or two subjects of their choice.

On their return to the Medical University of Vienna, they had to take modules as part of the first “Return Week”. They had to discuss clinical case descriptions, with emphasis on their ability to make clinical decisions. In addition, small groups of students had to discuss a real case from their portfolio under the direction of experienced clinicians.

The students' KPJ logbooks and portfolios were thoroughly inspected, according to both formal and objective criteria. The staff of the Department of Studies, Curriculum Coordination and Direction and about 30 experienced clinicians from the Medical university of Vienna and accredited hospitals from throughout Austria were available for this work and also supervised the discussions in the small groups.

Finally, the students were invited to provide a detailed feedback about their supervision during the KPJ.

According to Karin Gutiérrez-Lobos, Vice-Rector for Teaching, Gender and Diversity in the Medical University of Vienna: “The year of clinical practice of the Medical University of Vienna is a structured training program, including logbooks and portfolios and with the instructions for the accreditation of the teaching hospitals and completion of the return week. This is an enormously competitive curriculum which sets new standards for training, even in comparison with other countries.”

The Year of Clinical Practice (KPJ)
In the KPJ. 6-year medical students work as student team members in the departments of the university clinics in the medical University of Vienna and in accredited teaching hospitals. They are supported by mentors during their intensive practical clinical training. During this KPJ, the students deepen the knowledge, skills and professional medical attitudes that they acquired during the previous 5 years of the course. This is intended to enable them to acquire postgraduate and advanced training. The higher level goals include the acquisition of:

• Skills, knowledge and attitudes in accordance with the Austrian catalogue of expertise and European instructions.
• Expertise in clinical and problem-orientated scientific thinking and evidence-based medical work.

Teaching hospitals throughout Austria
215 positions at the AKH Vienna are available to the students in 24 departments of university hospitals, five clinical institutes, two institutes and one centre. An addition al 1,332 positions are available in 84 teaching hospitals in the federal states. By 4-month period (tertials), the students have a total of 404 positions for Internal Medicine, 500 for Surgical and Perioperative Subjects, as well as 643 positions for optional subjects. Aside from positions in Austrian hospitals, there are also positions in accredited foreign hospitals and currently 20 accredited teaching positions in GP practices.

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