Starting a medical programme may seem daunting or worrisome – you are not sure what to expect, nor what you can do to prepare for it. A lot of questions of this nature arise as prospective candidates apply to EDU and become students, ready to begin the first module of their medical education. We recently sat down with Dr. Med. Eva Corvest, EDU’s Bachelor Programme Coordinator as well as Module 1 Leader, to provide those awaiting to start their first module with some insights on what to expect, common challenges that most students encounter and how EDU supports them.
Dr. Corvest explained how Module 1 is the entry module into our bachelor programme, and it covers a lot of basic sciences such as Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy. Furthermore, from a didactic point of view, students dive straight into EDU’s approved didactic concepts, of teaching in small classes, in a very student-centred manner. They are introduced to PBL cases and to teamwork; these are all skills that they start learning in Module 1 and that are applied throughout our curriculum.
From the beginning of the Bachelor of Medicine, EDU is building two types of foundations: methods and knowledge. Students learn these already in Module 1, and continue with them throughout their whole medical career.
Foundation: Didactic methods and skills
In Module 1, our students encounter learning techniques and didactic models that are new to them, for the very first time. They are introduced to problem-based learning (PBL), and in general a very student-centred way of learning and teaching. Dr. Corvest pointed out: “This is of course not easy to adapt to, especially coming straight out of school. I very much remember my times, in my very first year of medical school, where I struggled with these concepts of regulating the way I learn, and it seemed very difficult. The advantage in EDU is that we provide teaching in small groups and our students are guided through the process by mentors, tutors and experts and module leaders who help them understand and develop these new skills.”
EDU prepares students to be lifelong learners who can successfully engage in self-directed learning. As Dr. Corvest added: “The students really learn for the first time how to learn in a self-regulated way. They are getting familiar with a new way of learning and new didactic concepts. It’s not easy to get used to these, but they are mentored very carefully; we have tutors and mentors and experts who guide them through the process.”
One of the core learning methods students encounter at EDU is Problem Based Learning (PBL). Here students learn in teams, based on cases they need to solve with the theory and skills they acquire throughout each module. This allows to anchor the learning in practice, challenge learners to engage in self-regulated learning practices, and ignite team collaboration.
Dr. Corvest explained: “Problem-Based Learning is something that is not only useful on the theoretical level, but it is very much oriented in the reality of the medical profession, where you are faced with a problem, a patient case to which you have to find a solution; and this is something that our students practice from Module 1 onwards. So, by the time they reach their qualification, they are in a way already experts in what they are expected to do on a daily basis in clinics.”
Working as part of a team is an essential skill for every
doctor ,medical professional, and thus is a fundamental bedrock of EDU’s didactic. The thoughts behind this are that “all hospitals, all wards, only work well if the individuals function as a team. And this is something that our students learn from the very early days, in their medical education. And by doing this over and over, and also switching roles and teams over time, they experience and acquire different roles within the teams, in different assignments. In this way, EDU students really get to understand what makes a good team, and what helps a team function by seeing the different perspectives over and over again.”, Dr. Corvest explained.
Foundation: Knowledge building by early integration of theory and practice
EDU students start their first clinical rotation in Week 10. This is much earlier than what traditional institutions typically offer. This is possible at EDU because of how each module is built–the theory they learn feeds into the practice they see shortly after.
As new student Nadia Weckwerth commented at the beginning of her first module at EDU:
“I am not only looking forward to acquiring and eventually deepening my knowledge in medicine in every possible way, but also to those magic moments during Clinical Rotations when I can actually prove my theoretical expertise.”
Furthermore, Dr. Corvest discussed more in-depth on the value of early integration of theory and practice:
“The very early intertwining of theory and clinical practice is of immense value to our students, for many reasons. Firstly, of course seeing clinical cases very early on helps them stay motivated. I saw my first patient when I was in 3rd year, so I had already spent two years of dry studying with books, at my desk, and this was–it was hard to stay motivated. So, this is one aspect.
The other is that our students can apply new knowledge: Firstly, the theoretical knowledge that they acquired in the theoretical phase, they can apply it in clinics–but they can also apply all these transferable skills, like teamwork, like problem solving skills that they learned in our PBL cases. Perhaps they make some early mistakes, but learn from them and grow as students and as future medical professionals.”
Ready to start the application process to study medicine at EDU? Apply now!