The medical curriculum
The 6-year medical programme provides students with the knowledge of natural and human sciences that forms the basis for clinical practice. In addition, it gives them the skills and abilities that are essential to their future as physicians. While the core curriculum is compulsory, students are also being offered a variety of elective modules (Mantelstudium) such as surgery, ambulatory medicine, family medicine, clinical epidemiology, medical informatics, pain treatment, palliative care, as well as internships in biomedical research laboratories. The Master of Medicine degree is awarded after the completion of six years of studies. After successfully passing the Federal examination in medicine, the graduated obtains a diploma as physician and can begin postgraduate studies.
Structure of the studies
The Faculty of Medicine has reformed its programmes in conformity with the Bologna model. Credit points are given according to the ECTS system (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). On completion of the 3rd year, students are awarded with the Bachelor of Medicine degree. After 3 additional years of study – which include the internship year- the Master of Medicine degree is awarded. This degree includes the writing of a thesis. The Master’s degree enables graduates to register to the Federal examination in medicine. The Faculty facilitates the exchange of students with universities in Europe, the USA and Australia.
After the mandatory training as assistant physicians for at least 3 years, most graduates are clinically active either as hospital physicians or as private practitioners. Employment in biomedical research area is also possible. Other areas of professional practice are the pharmaceutical industry, the medical technology sector, and the administration of health care facilities.
To study medicine, Swiss citizens and foreigners have to meet certain eligibility criteria. If the number of applications exceeds by more than 20% the number of places available, a suitability test is performed. New students have until 15 February of each year to register at Swissuniversities.