Undergraduate medicine in Prague
Traditional didactic methods of teaching, like those still used in Prague, provide a solid foundation for the clinical years, thinks Jonathan Menon
Recently, I met up with friends from medical schools around the United Kingdom. A lively debate ensued about undergraduate medical education in the Czech Republic and the UK, both of which are members of the European Union.
I am a third year medical student at Charles University, Prague where medicine has been taught since 1348. The traditional six year course is made up of three years' preclinical sciences and three years' clinical subjects. My British friends were shocked that we studied basic sciences for a full three years before the clinical rotations. Anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, histology, embryology, genetics, and pathology are all covered in detail, and pharmacology is studied in years three and four. I was surprised that my friends in the UK had a much reduced exposure to basic sciences and that factual information was kept to a minimum to encourage the self directed learning process. Why this aversion