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Subcommittee for medical schools visited MHB
The standing conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs sent its subcommittee for medical schools to the Brandenburg Medical School (MHB). The aim of yesterday’s talks with the Dean and students was to gather first-hand information on specifics of the MHB and the current state of development. The subcommittee chooses medical schools in Germany as changing locations for its regular sessions and thus gains immediate insights into medical education.
Welcoming the ca. 20 delegates, Dean Prof. Dr. Edmund A. Neugebauer first of all described the individual selection procedures with a focus on an applicant’s motivation and personality and less on school-leaving grades. He underlined the strong practice orientation of MHB with 31 professors, three university clinics in Bernau, Brandenburg an der Havel and Neuruppin, seven academic teaching hospitals, approximately 20 cooperating clinics and more than 100 teaching surgeries. Specific teaching and learning formats such as problem-oriented learning (POL) and TRIK (teamwork, reflection, interaction and communication) combine to offer science-based medical studies with a strong reference to practice from the very first semester. From the start of operations MHB students have attended progress tests regularly organized by 16 medical schools, and first results are very positive and document a high standard of teaching at MHB, so Neugebauer.
He pointed out that pursuant to recommendations from the Federal Government’s Science Council, MHB has a research focus on health services and on health and illness of ageing in particular. MHB expects further impetus for research from participation in and links to the Brandenburg Health Campus, which he described as “a unique network in this form, opening new chances to ensure the availability of specialist staff and thus of medical and nursing care in Brandenburg”. Neugebauer expressed his belief in MHB as a success story with a future.
Addressing financial questions, the visitors found cost calculations with € 110,000 per medical student surprisingly low compared to other medical schools. Prof. Dr. René Mantke, Vice Dean for Research and Academic Affairs, explained that core funding only covered teaching, and that research is largely financed by third-party funding and therefore only partly reflected in this calculation. In addition, so Prof. Danzer as Vice Dean for Curricular and Student Affairs, the majority of professors are employed with university clinics and cooperating hospitals, and MHB covers only a small proportion of costs involved.
In conclusion of the visit, Uwe Paul as chairman of the delegation (undersecretary/Saxony-Anhalt) described the MHB concept as a very interesting approach and exciting alternative to traditional medical curricula. Harald Topel from the Brandenburg Ministry of Science, Research and Cultural Affairs confirmed that MHB has won sympathy among subcommittee members who will certainly follow future developments at the university with interest.