Ghent University’s Medicine programme has a unique set-up: an academic year is not made up of traditional course units but of integrated modules (in Dutch: blokken; lit. blocks) and (learning) pathways (in Dutch lijnen; lit. lines). Modules are teaching periods grouped together in time, each of them focusing on a specific theme and approaching that theme from different disciplines. In addition to these modules, the (learning) pathways run throughout the entire programme. They teach you clinical, technical and communication skills, but also problem solving and independent academic work (including a Master’s dissertation), and they allow for an exploration into health care. All this is supplemented with a 'studium generale'.
About half of the first year curriculum is taken in common with dentistry students. It consists of six modules, five of which are devoted to biomedical topics, and one to health and society. The second year focuses on the different bodily systems in an integrated way (e.g. heart and blood vessels, lungs, kidneys, …). Theoretical training of the various systems is flanked by simultaneous skills training. A good part of the third year is devoted to an introduction to academic research methodology. Acquiring diagnostic and therapeutic methods in medicine and medical decision-making is given much focus. From the second term onwards, the clinic comes into play.
The Master’s programme aims at a solid integration of theoretical knowledge and therapy into practice. It consists of skills lab training sessions, and clinical classes on diagnostic approaches with patient contacts. The meaning of clinical findings, the patient’s psychosocial and a rational choice of research methods and treatment (i.e. evidence-based medicine) is given much focus. The programme includes several internships: from (individual) work shadowing and structured internships (in a small group) to a GP internship and longer internships in various disciplines (i.e. emergency, surgery, paediatrics, gynaecology, etc…). International internships are also an option.