Internal Medicine – Field of study catalogue MU
“Medicine is the most useful art”
Internal medicine is a broad medical field, which is divided into many more sub-disciplines and specializations. Due to its comprehensiveness, the study of this field is spread over four semesters. It is the basic unifying non-surgical medical field. During their studies, students acquire basic knowledge of the whole field as well as the basics of synthetic thinking when applying the newly acquired knowledge in practice. Patients treated at departments of internal medicine often suffer from multiple conditions at a time (polymorbidities). Thanks to the broad knowledge of internal medicine experts, these patients are given comprehensive care. Although the term “internal medicine” might imply that the discipline only deals with diseases of the internal organs, the opposite is true: internal medicine experts treat their patients as a whole, not just the internal organs. This is also why they work together with most other disciplines of medicine. This comprehensive care for patients with comorbidities is the main focus of internal medicine.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- Have a good knowledge of the individual conditions treated by internal medicine.
- Communicate with his/her patients as a professional.
- Use adequate diagnostic procedures.
- Suggest appropriate treatment based on correct diagnosis.
- Explain how to prevent lifestyle diseases and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Graduates of General Medicine at the MU Faculty of Medicine can work across the healthcare system in both public and private sectors and outpatient as well as inpatient facilities. Students who want to specialize in internal medicine can choose the general Internal Medicine study or one of the more specialized sub-disciplines. To become a certified specialist, students usually need five years of training (two years of common internal medicine study and three years of specialized training). After completing the common internal medicine study, students can also specialized in one of the 14 disciplines of internal medicine:
- Internal Medicine – general internal medicine
- Allergy and Clinical Immunology – diagnosis and treatment of immune disorders
- Angiology –diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases
- Cardiology – diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of heart diseases
- Endocrinology and Diabetology – diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the endocrine glands, including diabetes mellitus
- Gastroenterology – diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive tract, including diseases of the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas
- Geriatrics –diagnosis and treatment of internal diseases in elderly patients
- Haematology and Transfusion Medicine – diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the blood; also provides transfusion service
- Infectious Medicine – diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases
- Medical Genetics – diagnosis and prevention of hereditary diseases
- Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology – cancer diagnosis and therapy
- Nephrology – diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases
- Rheumatology – diagnosis and conservative treatment of musculoskeletal diseases
- Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases – the primary focus is on the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis
There are several other disciplines that are based on internal medicine, but mostly consist in laboratory work:
- Clinical Biochemistry – indications and assessment of biochemical tests and evaluation of the quality of these tests
- Clinical Pharmacology – evaluation and modification of pharmacotherapy, especially in complicated patients
A physician certified in internal medicine can then earn a further, more specialized certification in:
- Intensive Medicine – intensive care for patients in serious condition
- Palliative Medicine and Pain Management – treatment of chronic pain
Graduates can also enrol in a PhD study and may participate in research projects at the workplace. After gaining experience and the necessary certifications, they can also work as lecturers of undergraduate as well as postgraduate students.
The standard period of study for general medicine at the MU Faculty of Medicine is 12 semesters. It is a full-time Master's single-subject study programme. The Internal Medicine course is taught in six separate blocks. During the summer holidays after the 8th semester, student must spend two weeks at a hospital internal medicine department. During the 9th and 10th semesters, students must earn a total of 18 credits by completing required internal medicine courses and 3 credits from selective courses. Students also need to meet the requirements prescribed by the course catalogue to be admitted to the 11th and 12th semesters. And during the last two semesters (11th and 12th), students complete 7 weeks of practical training before graduation, working at a clinic of internal medicine under the supervision of experienced physicians. The course is completed with an advanced Master’s state examination.
During the study of Internal Medicine, the student must complete compulsory training (two-week practical training in an inpatient department of internal medicine at a regional hospital). They earn 1 credit by completing the training. During the practical training, students work at both the inpatient and the outpatient department under the supervision of experience physicians. Active participation in the training has to be confirmed by the head of the facility. The training helps students to broaden and deepen their theoretical knowledge and obtain and improve their work skills.
The advanced Master’s state examination consists of 2 parts:
The first part is a practical exam, when the student examines a patient. Based on the examination, the student suggests a diagnostic and therapeutic plan, assesses the results of laboratory tests and results obtained using diagnostic devices and suggests treatment.
The second part is a theoretical oral exam when the student draws at random 1 question containing three sub-questions from different areas of internal medicine. The purpose of the oral exam is to verify that graduates are capable of differential diagnosis and have the knowledge that will allow them to make the right decisions and act accordingly in emergency situations.
Graduates of the Faculty of Medicine are ready to work at a number of healthcare facilities, where they continue their postgraduate education in the specialization of their choice.