Medical education: Britain versus Italy
Paolo Gallipoli compares his medical training in Naples and Glasgow
- By: Paolo Gallipoli
In Italy the medical curriculum takes six years to study as an undergraduate degree. The British system is based on five years that can be extended in the case of intercalated degrees.
The first three years of the Italian course are exclusively intended to provide pupils with basic instruction in related sciences such as biology, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, genetics, and histology. This is among the hardest parts of the medical education, as the subjects are taught intensively and with a great attention to detail. At this stage every subject is studied separately. Many Italian students think that it would be more appropriate to devote less time to such intensive and exclusive theoretical instruction, although it does seem to be an advantage later on.
In the case of medical education in Britain, I understand that basic instruction in sciences are sometimes tackled through problem based learning. This kind of learning