Medicine

Medicine

The standard period of studies in the medical curriculum at the Brandenburg Medical School including the exam period for the third part of the medical examination is six years and three months (§ 1 para 2 ÄApprO - regulations for the licensing of medical doctors).

The programme is divided into three sections. Contents of the first part (1st sem. up to and including 6th sem.) cover body organs and systems. Building on this, the second part of the programme (7th sem. up to and including 10th sem.) addresses typical phenomena from various stages in life and various disciplines. The third part (11th and 12th sem.) is the Practical Year.

Pursuant to licensing regulations for medical doctors governing medical training in the Practical Year (§ 3 ÄApprO), students complete three internships of sixteen weeks respectively during the Practical Year. The programme concludes with the third section of the medical examination pursuant to licensing regulations for medical doctors.

Im course catalogue offers detailed information on modules. More information is available from the Section Curricular Development and Coordination.

Modulübersicht

Teaching formats

Teaching formats at the MHB denote a fresh, innovative and well thought out approach to medical issues. Our didactic concept enables students to perceive and understand medicine in new ways. Course contents are addressed repeatedly in the sense of a learning spiral, i.e. in increasing detail and complexity corresponding to progressive levels of training. Small groups facilitate intensive exchange to share acquired knowledge and clarify open questions. They are the ideal context to practise scientific methods of problem solving and train students in life-long learning. The focus of instruction is on not only practical but also communicative and psychosocial skills.

For a more detailed description of the teaching formats we use, see the following list with short explanations:

Problem oriented learning (POL)

Students meet twice per week in small groups with a maximum of eight participants, supervised by specially trained instructors.

These groups tackle one medical issue respectively, possibly related to module topics. Students address the resulting learning objectives either in self-study or in seminars, practical exercises, internships or lectures. In this manner they broaden and supplement acquired knowledge. In the second group meeting participants present and discuss the results of their work.

Seminars

Interdisciplinary seminars on clinical-theoretical basics serve to deepen knowledge, convey correlations across subjects and disciplines, and create references between theoretical and practical subject matter. Seminars are interactive and may include keynote presentations.

Seminars in Human and Health Sciences take the form of seminar courses during the lecture period on:

  • Guiding principles of medical ethics and practice,
  • Health Sciences and
  • Methods of scientific work.

Seminars focus primarily on scientific, social, philosophical, ethical, historical and methodological aspects of medicine.

Lectures

Additional to the seminars, lectures are presented to convey complex subject matter or to give overviews of comprehensive fields of expertise.

Tutorials

Tutorials in Diagnostics and Therapy convey practical medical skills in the fields of diagnostics and therapy (e.g. blood sampling, physical examination, sonography, suture course). These practical exercises are organised with the same participants as the POL groups.

Bedside teaching is organised in small groups. For live demonstrations involving patients the group size is limited to six students, and to three students for examinations of patients. In this format students may examine patients under supervision.

Tutorials on teamwork, reflection, interaction and communication (TRIK) convey skills of professional communication in the context of medical activities, in some instances with simulation patients. The independent curriculum underlying the TRIK concept is taught in small term-overlapping groups.

Internships

Practical training includes instruction in institutions of medical and psychosocial primary, secondary and tertiary care as well as research facilities. Internships serve to train skills and competences in teams and to test acquired knowledge in practice.

Groups of up to 16 students acquire and train practical skills and competences in internships. Among the topics addressed are the anatomical and scientific fundamentals of medicine, and clinical disciplines as well as fields of clinical and medical theory, such as medical ethics, medical law, biochemistry, pharmacology and microbiology.

Practice Days (for practical training in general medicine and outpatient care) are mainly organised as two-week periods for 2nd-to 5th-semester students in general medical practices of outpatient care. Students attend medical consultations in an observing and possibly assisting capacity and may also be involved in the examination, advising and treatment of patients at the physician’s discretion and depending on a student’s level of training.

The course Introduction to careers in medicine (1st to 5th semester) gives insights into various occupational areas (such as public health service, sickness funds, nursing homes, hospices, occupational medicine, pharmaceutical industry, research institutions).

Hospital ward internships constitute the primary integrative teaching and learning formats in the hospital (equivalent to block training, § 2 ÄApprO). This is where medical students are trained in the differential diagnostics and therapy of the main diseases under conditions of daily clinical practice. The focus is on bedside teaching and students’ increasing responsibilities in patient care. The internships are combined with theoretical instruction units to ensure close integration of theory and practice and, where applicable, complemented by interdisciplinary theory sessions (foundation courses). The module scheme for the hospital ward internship is as follows:

  • Gynaecology and obstetrics
  • Paediatrics
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry
  • Internal medicine
  • Geriatrics
  • Surgery
  • Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care
  • Elective subjects, so called small subjects (e.g. ophthalmology, dermatology, ENT, urology)

The Research Internship gives insights into methods of academic work with a focus on students’ individual interests. 6th-semester students complete this period in a facility of inpatient or outpatient care, an institute or research institution to gain an impression of this organisation and/or a specific subject area. They are required to formulate and address a topic with a clearly defined research question or work assignment. As part elements of the internship, research workshops and colloquia are organised during the second stage of the programme to broaden the knowledge acquired in the first stage and continue ongoing research activities (scientific portfolio).

Case presentation

Case presentations in the second stage are the context where students present authentic patient histories including findings and therapies. Instructors and students jointly develop proposals for further clinical action and discuss diagnostic and therapeutic options, guidelines and main symptoms. The number of participants corresponds to that of seminars.

Case discussions

Case discussions take place within the modules that involve hospital ward internships. Unlike case presentations, each participating students presents an authentic patient history for debate in a small group monitored by instructors.

Clinical traineeship

The four-month activity as a clinical trainee follows after the 5th semester in the lecture-free period after successful completion of exams and performance checks stipulated for the first five semesters. The idea is to acquaint students with daily medical work in hospitals and outpatient care. The clinical traineeship needs to be completed up to the second part of medical examinations, and to be documented according to the template in appendix 6 of medical licensing regulations upon registration for the second part of medical examinations.
The clinical traineeship is to be arranged as follows: two months in a hospital or inpatient rehabilitation facility, one month in an outpatient care facility under medical supervision or a suitable doctor’s practice, and one further month in a facility of GP care.

Practical Year

In the third section of the programme (48 weeks) students have to complete continuous practical work pursuant to § 3(3) of medical licensing regulations in the following medical subjects:

  • Internal medicine,
  • Surgery,
  • General medicine, or one of the further clinical-practical disciplines other than the two mentioned above.

Pursuant to § 3(1a) ÄApprO the university draws up a training plan (logbook) to be adhered to in the training of medical students. For more information on the Practical Year see here.

Studium Fundamentale

Teaching events in the context of Studium Fundamentale address topics outside the field of medicine, such as humanities or arts.

Natural science tutorial

The tutorial in natural sciences in the first section of medical studies serves to expand knowledge of basic subjects such as physics, chemistry and biology.

Grading system

Below you find detailed information on the grading system and examination formats for the course of studies in medicine. A Learning Agreement will be concluded between your institution and the MHB to ensure compatibility between the two systems and take all requirements in terms of time and content duly into account. Here you find an example of a Learning Agreement. Please contact the International Office of your home institution to draw up a Learning Agreement.

The successful completion of a module requires an obligatory attendance of at least 85% for these teaching events: POL, TRIK, Practice Day and Hospital Ward Internships. In addition, a student’s examination performance must be at least 60%. On the basis of these results, exchange students will then receive a Transcript of Records to document their academic performance.

ECTS credits are used to grade a student’s performance in the modules of the medical curriculum. Here is an overview. ECTS credits are credit points which students can acquire as evidence of academic performance at an institution of tertiary education. They serve as a quantitative tool to describe the workload for students that is required to complete their learning activities at a specific level and achieve the specified results. Here is more information.

Examination formats

In general, each semester (first section of medical curriculum) and each module (second section of medical curriculum) conclude with one written and one practical examination respectively. Upon conclusion of the 10th subject-related semester students take the 2nd part of the medical examination, and after the Practical Year the third part, and they conclude their studies with a state examination.

Written examinations
The following test formats, in part with open-ended questions, are used at the MHB:

  • Multiple Choice format (MCQ): written tests with predefined answers to select from.
  • Modified Essay Questions (MEQ): written tests with short answers in free text and sequential questions to be answered consecutively.
  • Free formats in writing: project documentations, term papers, posters, patient reports and modified essays. A final oral presentation may also be requested where appropriate.

Combined examinations
The following oral, written and/or practical test formats are used at the MHB:

  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE): Students pass a sequence of test stations where they examine simulation patients or handle subject-specific objects (e.g. medical-diagnostic findings, models, preparations). Examiners use standardised checklists to assess students’ performance.
  • Objective Structured Pre-Clinical Examination (OSPE): Students pass a sequence of test stations where they have to complete several given assignments using models, preparations or visual material.
  • Site-specific clinical examinations: Students perform clinical test assignments (e.g. anamnesis, consultation, physical examination) with simulation patients. Standardised questionnaires serve to assess performance.

Portfolio
Students must provide evidence of a stipulated amount of academic achievements to be completed within a defined period, e.g. in the course of a module or the entire second stage of medical studies. These study results can be achieved in written, verbal or practical form or a combination thereof.