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Individual study places and more doctors for the armed forces

Qualified soldiers can study at the Medical University Vienna during their period of service
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Bild: Carina Karlovits
v.l.n.r.: Sylvia Sperandio (Leiterin des militärischen Gesundheitswesens), BM Johannes Rauch, einer der angehenden Medizinstudenten, BM Klaudia Tanner und Rektor Markus Müller

(Vienna, 04-10-2022) - As of  the winter semester of 2022/23, up to ten people can be recruited each year to the Austrian Armed Forces as military doctors via a special 20-year contract. In addition, students of the Austrian Armed Forces will be reimbursed for all costs incurred, such as current tuition fees, and will also be provided with necessary accommodations. To mark the start of their studies at the Medical University, six soldiers were promoted to officer candidates - to the rank of ensign - at a press conference today in the presence of Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner, Health Minister Johannes Rauch and the Rector of the Medical University of Vienna, Markus Müller. They completed the required service and were the first military medical students to be accepted.

"The medical care of our soldiers at home and abroad is of the utmost importance. Especially during the Corona pandemic, we saw how important it was to have swift and functioning medical care. With the new model, we can ensure the important physician jobs in the Austrian Armed Forces in the coming years. I wish our first-year soldiers all the best and much success in their studies," said Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner at the press conference.
All applicants must have military qualifications, take the regular medical entrance test and be among the best 25 per cent of the applicants for the respective year. This year there were 135 applicants, 21 of whom took the medical entrance test. In the run-up to the medical entrance test, up to 40 interested candidates were provided with special preparation for admission.

"The pandemic in particular has once again shown how important the Armed Forces are in dealing with crises. Thanks to its well-trained medical personnel, the Army was able to set up testing and vaccination locations within a very short time and was able to build and distribute the urgently needed medical infrastructure throughout the country. We must continue to rely on them. I am therefore particularly pleased that the training of additional doctors is being actively promoted. As Minister of Health, I wish the first group of students all the best and much success in their studies," said Minister of Health Johannes Rauch.

During the free periods between classes, the students complete, on the one hand, the medical internships required in the curriculum and, on the other hand, valuable additional training for everyday military life. In the remaining time, they are deployed in the Eastern Medical Centre in a manner appropriate to their training, as well having a job rotation within Austria. After completing their training, the doctors serve in one of the Austrian Armed Forces hospitals or as a military doctor in a base medical facility.

"The Medical University Vienna is currently by far the largest medical training institution in the German-speaking world and, with 760 spots per year, accepts more students than, for example, the Berlin Charité Hospital. Analogous to the situation in Germany, a legal framework has now also been created in Austria to ensure the future of army medical care by allocating study places. MedUni Vienna is delighted to now be assuming another task in the public interest as a partner of the Austrian Armed Forces, in addition to its many other social roles," said the Rector of the Medical University Vienna, Markus Müller.

In addition to general medicine, the range of services includes anaesthesia, ophthalmology, surgery, dermatology, ENT, internal medicine, neurology, orthopaedics, psychiatry, radiology and trauma surgery. In addition to the normal care of army personnel, the outpatient clinics are also essential for pre-deployment examinations as well as for aeromedical and sports medicine examinations.