University of Bayreuth, Media release No. 009/2021, January 20th 2021
Medical studies to be more practice and patient-oriented – Bayreuth expert on “Masterplan Medizinstudium 2020”
How do you produce graduates fit for a career as a doctor? By acquiring competencies relevant to the medical profession from the very beginning of their studies, by having contact with patients at an early stage, and by gaining practical clinical experience. These are the goals of the “Masterplan Medizinstudium 2020” and the new content outline (GK), which aim to fundamentally reform the subject of human medical studies. Prof. Dr. mult. Eckhard Nagel, Managing Director of the Institute for Healthcare Management and Health Sciences at the University of Bayreuth, is co-chair of the responsible GK committee, which regulates the content of medical examinations for the whole of Germany.
The “Content Outline for all Sections of the Medical Examination” was presented just in time for the turn of the year; more than 800 experts from all over Germany having worked on it over the past three years. The new criteria are expected to apply from 2023 onward. They intend to accelerate the reorientation of medical studies through new learning and examination objectives.
Topics such as general medicine, interprofessional practical orientation, and the so-called soft skills for the day-to-day work of young doctors will be given more weight. “Through the participation of all important stakeholders – doctors, health insurance funds, the Medical Faculty Association, representatives of the public health sector, the responsible federal and state ministries – a coordinated catalogue has been created to steer medical studies in a new direction, the right direction”, says Nagel.
In future, IMPP (the Institute for Medical and Pharmaceutical Examination Questions) will also develop content for the practical state examinations at the end of the study programme, which will then be examined uniformly throughout Germany. For some competencies, such as the examination of good doctor-patient communication, there already is plenty of previous experience, while for others, such as leadership skills, which has been newly included in the content outline, a lot of development is still needed. How do I prioritise work in the ward properly? How do I manage the interfaces with other health professions? Or, how do I correctly report near misses? “These are matters which no compulsory courses, for example, or examinations have addressed to date. Yet they are highly relevant if patients are to be well cared for, but also so that newcomers to the profession do not burn out due to the complex demands placed upon them”, explains Nagel, who headed the Leadership and Management working group over the entire process.
Moreover, the challenges associated with change in our health system are enormous. With the new content outline and the new state examinations, we will be in an excellent position to face the future, even from an international perspective. Here, IMPP, under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Jana Jünger, has done some ground-breaking coordination work in close consultation with the Medical Faculty Association (MFT). In this way, the new state examinations will be a sure guarantee of comprehensive competence for future entrants to the profession, from which patients and students will benefit in equal measure.
The University of Bayreuth is already leading the way in this field: One of the first focus professorships at MedizinCampus Oberfranken is “Health Competence and Health Communication”.