Integrated Undergraduate and Graduate Program of Studies in Medicine

Undergraduate and Graduate (Integrated) Study of Medicine in Croatian (hereinafter referred to as Integrated Study of Medicine in Croatian)

The University of Zagreb School of Medicine performs medical studies in the Croatian language by a
single, integrated program of study for a period of six years. The division of the study program at the undergraduate and graduate cycle is difficult to apply to medicine. The undergraduate level of the study of medicine is not successfully defined with competences to work in the health care system within the Central European scope, to which the Croatian medicine traditionally belongs. During the study, 360 ECTS are achieved, and graduates are conferred the title of Doctor of Medicine (MD) after the completion of the studies. With a diploma, a student receives an additional document (diploma supplement) with a description of competencies that he/she has gained during the study.

The ZSM obtained the license of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia for the integrated study medicine in the Croatian language in 2005. The program was (re)accredited with the permit of 2009/2010. The total number of hours complies with the recommendation of Directive 2005/36EC of the European Commission and Parliament, which states that the basic education of doctors should include at least six years of study, or 5,500 hours of theoretical and practical university teaching. The course is full time and has an enrollment quota of 300 students annually who study at the expense of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia. The right of enrollment is given to candidates who have completed the secondary school of at least four years, and according to the results achieved in the classification process carried out by the Committee for the Enrollment of Students .

The peculiarity of the study is elective subjects. The School of Medicine introduced the elective teaching more than twenty years ago and was the first faculty at the University, which began with the introduction of teaching that was later accepted by the Bologna Process. Since the academic year 1990/1991, the time schedule of elective subjects, their positioning in the study year, the content and form of teaching, and the majority of elective subjects proposed at the later years of the study have changed. The continuous evaluation of their quality in accordance with the recommendations of the external evaluation of the School of Medicine conducted in 2009 reduced their numbers.

In the program of regular courses offered, and particularly in its offering of elective courses, the ZSM is striving to improve teaching by introducing e‐learning. Consequently, four e‐courses that are taught by the faculty of the medical schools in Zagreb, Split and Osijek have been established within the Tempus project “Standardization in Teaching of Medicine”. Teaching in a virtual environment with the help of innovative technologies (e‐learning and LMS established at the ZSM) are described later in this chapter under the heading Websites of the ZSM.

The number of electives varies according to the year of study. Thus, in the first three years students
are offered two electives per year, the number of electives in the fourth year is three, the fifth year has only one elective, whereas students are mandated to take three electives in the final, sixth year. The number of contact hours attributed to an elective course amounts to 25 hours, which leads to 2 ECTS credits.

A six‐year course of study is completed with the graduation (final) exam, which consists of a written
exam and the public defense of the thesis that a student composes under the guidance of a mentor. Based on the written exam, knowledge, attitudes and knowledge of the skills and abilities of clinical judgment required for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures within the defined competencies of medical doctors are evaluated. The questions of the test‐exams are composed in such a way that their solution requires the application of a comprehensive (synthetic) way of thinking. The above‐mentioned Regulations on Undergraduate and Graduate Studies determine the selection and preparation of the written thesis, which may be original scientific research, but also a review that the student prepares with the help of a mentor. The thesis can be replaced by a paper that the student has published in indexed, peer‐reviewed journals, or by obtaining a recognition of the Rector’s or Dean’s Award. Theses and equivalents undergo an approval process (assessment) and public defense.
The present study program enables the mobility of students within the Croatian and European Higher
Education Area. Competences acquired with the graduate program of study allow the continuation of studies at the specialist and postgraduate level.