Becoming a doctor in the Czech Republic: faculties, competition and exams
Getting a qualification in General Medicine in the Czech Republic takes 6 years. During the first three years students study theoretical and pre-clinical subjects, the next three years they move on to clinical subjects.
Graduates receive the title of medicinae universae doctor (MUDr.) and can work in all specialisations in the field of medicine.
Here you can read about the differences between the three faculties of medicine at Charles University and find out about other places to study medicine.
The First Faculty of Medicine at Charles University
The First Faculty of Medicine attracts the most students for the General Medicine specialization. For example, last year the faculty enrolled a total of 775 new students.
Clinical classes are held in five hospitals in Prague. The First Faculty of Medicine is a leading faculty in terms of research in medicine. The faculty shows significant success in research in the field of oncology, cardiovascular medicine, neurology and genetical metabolic disorders.
The faculty is very popular with international students: currently 800 students from 50 countries study in English-language programs. Education in English at the First Faculty of Medicine costs 12,000 Euro per year. You can study for free in the Czech language.
“All foreigners are required to study the Czech language for two years at the First Faculty of Medicine. They study advanced general vocabulary during their first year, and medical vocabulary during the second year”.
Entrance exams are held in one round in the form of written tests in chemistry, physics and biology. The faculty publishes samples of standard tasks for entrance tests.
The faculty received 3,555 applications from prospective students in 2015, and 775 were enrolled.
Faculty website: www.lf1.cuni.cz
The Second Faculty of Medicine at Charles University
In addition to the standard program in General Medicine, the Second Faculty of Medicine offers subjects in paediatrics.
The Second Faculty of Medicine of Charles University was established as Paediatric Faculty at Charles University in Prague. Although the faculty provides general medical education nowadays, the curriculum has retained an expanded program that includes studies in paediatrics. Unlike students of other medical faculties, students of the Second Faculty of Medicine study paediatric specialisations in detail covering neurology, haematology, oncology, psychiatry, orthopaedics, cardiology, dentistry, etc.
2,062 applications were received by the Second Faculty of Medicine from prospective students in 2015, it is the most popular medical faculty among the candidates. The faculty has a very good clinical base – Motol University hospital with a wide range of patients.
“My classmates are the most talented people I’ve ever met, with the most diverse interests. There is no one among us too lazy to learn, they are all very ambitious. Healthy competition encourages interest in learning. At the same time, we have a very friendly atmosphere at the faculty. Senior students are willing to help the first year students, the team spirit principle is well established”.
The faculty has tough entrance exams. Compared to the First Faculty of Medicine, which enrolled 775 students for General Medicine last year, the Second Faculty of Medicine enrolled only 231.
The exam is held in two stages. The first round consists of a test in biology, physics and chemistry as well as a test in general qualifications for studying medicine. The general qualifications test checks the ability for logical thinking, understanding of a large scientific text, ability to interpret graph data, and spatial thinking. The top 400 prospective students get through to the second round. The second round is an oral interview with the Examination Board, where the applicant draws out two questions. The purpose of the exam is to test the applicant’s communication skills, ability to justify their own opinion and demonstrate interest in the chosen field of study.
Prospective students, who successfully pass the hard entrance exams, show good results during their studies. If the First Faculty of Medicine expels a large number of students in the first year, the Second Faculty of Medicine expels students very rarely, according to the statistics.
The faculty has more than 200 international students.
The Second Faculty of Medicine belongs to small faculties, it is distinguished by the individual approach of tutors to students (4 students per tutor), students feel at home at the faculty. Students of the faculty work with patients from the first year. Talented students can help junior students from the second year.
The faculty received 2,062 applications from prospective students in 2015, and only 231 were enrolled.
Faculty website: www.lf2.cuni.cz
The Third Faculty of Medicine at Charles University
Education at the Third Faculty of Medicine differs in its structure. The faculty management made conceptual changes in the 90’s, dividing the education into three cycles, further subdivided into modules.
The emphasis is placed on integrated problem-oriented education and study of interdisciplinary subjects. Training is done on specific clinical situations, so that students develop logical thinking and learn to make independent decisions. Educational goals comply with the Euroskills program of European medical faculties, to which the Third Faculty of Medicine joined.
Students have opportunity to understand the issues studied in a broad context from the point of view of several interrelated specialties. Great importance is attributed to the development of practical skills, individual and independent approach to education.
The Third Faculty of Medicine includes hygiene and prevention, occupational and tourism medicine, medical law, medical ethics, and scientific methodology in the curriculum, and offers a wide range of elective courses.
Students work with patients from the first year of study.
The faculty received 1963 applications from prospective students in 2015, and 250 were enrolled.
The entrance exam is held in two rounds. The first round is a test in biology, physics and chemistry. The second round is an oral interview in which the applicant has to explain a popular scientific text. Communication skills, independent thinking abilities, and general knowledge are also assessed. In other words, the Commission assesses not knowledge, but abilities in the second round.
Unlike the first and second faculties of medicine, the third faculty does not publish collections of standard tasks for entrance tests.
Web-site of the faculty: www.lf3.cuni.cz
Charles University Faculty of medicine in Pilsen
The first two years of study at the faculty are concentrated on theoretical specialties – biology, biophysics, anatomy, histology, physiology and biochemistry. In the third and fourth year, preclinical subjects are studied – pathological anatomy, pathological physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, and clinical training begins. Clinical specialties are studied right out of undergrad.
Entrance exams also take place in the form of tests in physics, chemistry and biology. The faculty publishes collections of standard questions for the applicants.
The faculty enrols more than 200 students for their General Medicine program every year.
Faculty website: www.lfp.cuni.cz
Charles University, Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Kralove
In the first two years of study students of the faculty study the main theoretical disciplines and get their first experience of working with patients. For the next two years, students study pre-clinical subjects, therapy and surgical subjects, and some clinical specialisations. Students take a big medical exam in English in the third year. Clinical subjects are studied in the fifth year. Students work with patients during the last year.
While studying clinical subjects, students gain practical knowledge of the main methods of examination, laboratory methods, principles of treatment and diagnosis. Learning to work with patents is very important .
Students sit an exam in biology, somatology, chemistry and physics at admission.
1,667 applications from prospective students were submitted for the General Medicine program in 2015, only 319 were enrolled.
Faculty website: www.lfhk.cuni.cz
Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University in Brno
Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University includes 12 theoretical institutes, 54 clinics and a total of 8 departments. The faculty of medicine is located in the new campus of Masaryk University, which is one of the best in Central Europe. Lecture theatres and laboratories of the faculty meet the latest educational standards.
The first two years of study cover primarily theoretical subjects such as biology, biophysics, chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, histology, physiology. The third year of study covers preclinical subjects and preparation for study of clinical subjects. In the fourth and fifth year, the student is trained in various clinics. In the final year, students have a pre-graduation internship, where the student works in clinics under the guidance of experienced doctors. Students gain practical experience during their summer internships.
Students can join research projects from the first year. The General Medicine program has a special module, offering advanced opportunities in the field of scientific training in addition to the standard program of general medicine.
They take tests in physics, chemistry, biology, and somatology during admission.
Last year the faculty received 2,627 applications from prospective students, and only 642 were enrolled.
Faculty website: www.med.muni.cz
Faculty of Medicine of the Palacký University
Students of the faculty study theoretical subjects such as anatomy, histology and embryology, medical biophysics, medical chemistry and biochemistry, biology, physiology; preclinical subjects such as pathology, microbiology, pathological physiology, pharmacology and undertake clinical internship in therapy, surgery, urology, orthopaedics, neurosurgery, anaesthesiology and resuscitation, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, dermatology, neurology, psychiatry. Students study healthcare subjects including preventive medicine, social medicine and medical policy, forensic medicine and medical law.
They are using telemedicine in the training process since 2015, that is live broadcasts from the operating theatres.
3,200 applicants come to study here every year, and 220 enrol in General Medicine program.
The entrance exam consists of a test in physics, chemistry, and biology.
Faculty website: www.lf.upol.cz
Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ostrava
The main advantage of studying medicine in Ostrava is the opportunity to practice in clinics with the most modern equipment.
The faculty of medicine in Ostrava is the youngest medical faculty in the Czech Republic, it opened its doors in 2010. According to surveys, students are satisfied with the level of education and more and more students come to study here every year.
You have to take all the standard exams in biology, chemistry and physics for the General Medicine program.
Faculty website: www.osu.cz/fzs/