Bachelor of Science in Medicine
Medical practitioners are fascinated by the wonderful functioning of the human body. The primary aim of the Medicine programme is to impart medical and technical skills. Since many of them have to deal with issues that transcend the purely medical, medical practitioners must also possess a keen psychological insight.
Medical practitioner is without a doubt one of the most fascinating professions. After all, who would not be fascinated by the wonderful functioning of the human body. Putting this knowledge into practice by curing the ill and improving public health is a particularly exciting challenge for many young people. The study programme, however, comprises more than simply acquiring medical and technical skills. After all, since many medical practitioners have to deal with issues that transcend the purely medical, they must also possess a keen psychological insight.
Admittance into the Medicine programme is subject to passing the entrance exam and obtaining a high ranking. More information (in Dutch) can be found on www.toelatingsexamenartstandarts.be.The entrance exam assesses your level of understanding in the fields of physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology: a thorough knowledge of these disciplines is therefore necessary to be able to pass the exam. In addition, the entrance exam also assesses general cognitive skills and social insight. But specific prior knowledge is only the beginning … As you embark on a six-year training (at least), being motivated and committed is equally important as having the required prior knowledge. Furthermore, future medical practitioners must also possess social and psychological skills and testify to a broad social interest.
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.
There are three types of medical practitioners: specialist medical practitioners, general practitioners and medical practitioners working in the non-curative sector.
Specialist medical practitioners usually find a job in their chosen specialisation, either in a hospital, their own practice or a group practice.
General practitioners (GP) usually take into account regional spreading in looking for a job. In recent years, GPs increasingly join other GPs and/or paramedics in group practices. A GP’s tasks are more generalist than those of specialist medical practitioners. To most patients, their GP is their first contact person and usually also their confidant(e). A GP is responsible for coordinating the patient’s care by means of their Centralised Medical Record (in Dutch: Globaal Medisch Dossier).
The non-curative sector cannot be lumped together: every medium-sized company or institution has its own occupational health services. Quite a number of medical practitioners are employed in administrative positions in government service, or are employed in insurance medicine, youth health care, prevention, quality assurance and inspection, etc… . Medical practitioners also find employment in academic research (government service, private companies, universities).
At Ghent University, we strive to educate people who dare to think about the challenges of tomorrow. For that purpose, we provide education that is embedded in six strategic objectives: Think Broadly, Keep Researching, Cultivate Talent, Contribute, Extend Horizons, Opt for Quality.
Ghent University continuously focuses on quality assurance and quality culture. The Ghent University's quality assurance system offers information on each study programme’s unique selling points, and on its strengths and weaknesses with regard to quality assurance.
Ghent University's Education Objectives
Unique Selling Points
- The Medicine programme trains tomorrow’s doctors. In an ever-evolving medical world, a strong focus on scientific evolutions and social changes is a must. Students also acquire a strong awareness of social accountability.
- Ghent University’s Medicine programme boasts a unique concept: each year consists of integrated modules (“blocks”) and (learning) pathways (“lines”). Limited in time, blocks are integrated teaching modules in the course of which specific themes are studied from different angles (disciplines). Overarching the well-delineated blocks, the learning pathways run throughout the entire curriculum. Their focus is on skills training and communication.
- The clinical and communicative skills that are part of a medical practitioner’s basic medical training are a taught in small groups of 15-odd students. Each student is given the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills on a fixed day of the week.
- Our progamme’s outgoing mobility is strong. With about 65% of our Medicine students participating in a study abroad initiative in the course of their training, the Medicine programme is clearly a front runner in the faculty, and even in the university.
- Strong focus on education innovation: our programme wants to invest in innovation and IT. All lectures are being recorded for students to watch and re-watch at their own leisure. In addition, the Poirot platform brings together all lecture materials onto one and the same searchable channel. The channel is a repository for all the themes that feature throughout each training year, and is browsable at any given time.
- The Medicine programme boasts strong student involvement. Students have representatives in every committee and workgroup. In so doing, they contribute to policy improvement within the programme. Another valuable partner is the Student Council “SWOP” (short for Student Workgroup Programmes), whose contributions we appreciate and extensively take into account in our day-to-day work.
- The Medicine programme is committed to the well-being of its students.Via our mentoring scheme we organize regular meetings between small groups of students and their assigned mentor. Each mentor also takes on the role of confidential advisor for their student group. Students can call on their mentor at any time, throughout their entire study trajectory.
- The Medicine programme boasts a dedicated team of lecturers from various basic sciences disciplines, and from the clinic. Our lecturers combine their professional expertise with a passion for teaching and a commitment to uphold the quality and topicality of their lectures in an ever-changing society.
- Together with a number of advisory workgroups and (sub)committees, the Study Programme Committee monitors our programme’s education policy: it considers and implements suggestions made by the workgroups, and sees to a high-quality implementation of Ghent University’s six strategic objectives in relation to important themes in our curriculum (research, internationalization, …).
- Increasing student numbers in the (initial) Medicine programme put great pressure on teaching in small groups. Since precisely that is one of our programme’s strengths, we continue to monitor and maintain the (high) quality of our education.
- Patient contacts are essential for learning how to put the acquired theory into practice. In the curriculum as is, prolonged patient contacts only feature in the second Master’s year. The Programme Committee is considering its options to introduce patient contacts at a much earlier stage in the curriculum.
- The curriculum’s structure, consisting of “blocks” and “lines”, calls for the involvement of many different lecturers at programme level, but also at course unit level. Apart from the clear advantages, this diversity may also result in confusion among students and lecturers. We are considering how to organize this in a more efficient manner.
This study programme is accredited by the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (Dutch: NVAO). Accreditation was extended following the positive outcome of the institutional review in 2017. Programme quality was validated by a quality review, i.e. a screening of the Education Monitor by the Education Quality Board. The Quality Assurance Resolution (in Dutch) can be found here.
This information was last updated on 01/02/2023.
In case of questions or suggestions with regard to the publicly available information, please contact the study programme.