- Elise Betz
Profile of Mannheim
Mannheim is totally different from any other German university that offers medical studies, including its sister faculty in Heidelberg. But what makes it so special to study in Mannheim? Why should you consider an application? In the following report, I’ll try to answer these questions and give you an overview of the Medical Faculty Mannheim.
In 1964, the Medical Faculty Mannheim was founded as an independent institution by the University of Heidelberg. In the early days, you could only spend the second, clinical part of your studies in Mannheim, until 2006, when the Medical Faculty Mannheim became a fully established faculty. Since then, it is possible for students to enroll in Mannheim for their complete study of medicine.
The University of Heidelberg has two locations to study Medicine, one in Heidelberg itself and the other one in Mannheim. However, these two faculties are so entirely different from each other, starting with the name of the study programs. In Mannheim, the program is called MeReCuM (short for “Mannheimer Reformiertes Curriculum für Medizin”) which in English means something like: reformed curriculum for medicine of Mannheim. In Heidelberg, the program is called HeiCumMed (short for Heidelberger CurriculumMedicinale).
Things that make it special to study in Mannheim
Beginning with the preclinical stage of studies until the end of Medical School, the study program in Mannheim is structured in modules. This system makes it possible to learn the context instead of learning single sections. In the preclinical stage of studies, the modules deal with subject areas and functional systems like the musculoskeletal system or respiration. This way, you’ll learn the anatomy, biochemistry and physiology along with the modules – and not separated from each other as is common at other faculties.
During the clinical studies, the subjects are also organised in modules which combine them in reasonable groups and contexts. Individual modules, for example, deal with diagnostic medicine, diseases of the age or primary care.
In the preclinical part, the students are divided in ten seminar groups (ca. 20 students per group) and simultaneously proceed with the content. This is different from the clinical part, where six seminar groups, each group consisting of approximately 30 students, rotate through the modules.
Classes mainly take place exclusively for your seminar group, so the student-professor ratio is really low and the support is great.
The practical year at the end of the medical studies, unlike those at other medical faculties, is divided into four parts of three months each. The classification in surgery, Internal Medicine, and an subject of your choice is the same for three of the quarters, yet one is performed in an outpatient clinic.
The faculty offers a structured nursing internship at the university hospital in Mannheim for the students in their basic study period. During this internship, you’ll work at the hospital ward and attend theoretical lessons on topics like hygiene or pressure ulcer prevention.
Another specialism of the Medical Faculty Mannheim is the study hospital TheSiMa which is managed by the student body. Here you can study on your own or with fellow students, or you can attend training sessions not only during the clinical studies but also during the preclinical stage.
In your years of clinical studies these training sessions will teach you how to examine your patients by practising on fellow students or models. You will also have to demonstrate your practical skills during OSCEs (objective structured clinical examinations).
Right at the beginning of your studies, you’ll attend a mentoring program which will help you through the first 2 years of medical school. In each group, there is an experienced practitioner or lecturer along with two senior mentors, who are students in an advanced stage of their studies. These mentors provide guidance for you by holding information events, helping to explore the occupational fields of doctors or organising convivial evenings to get to know each other.
There are also a bunch of study collateral activities like subject-specific language courses (e.g. French or Turkish for medical students), a theatre group and a large sports portfolio. If you enjoy making music, you can also attend the faculty’s orchestra, choir or band.
Before you apply to Medical School
The Medical Faculty Mannheim organise a lot of information events for pupils and their parents, such as open house days, parents’ evenings and teaching laboratories for high school students. There are also some trial lessons or projects, where high school students can participate. Personal counselling at the Office of Student Affairs or via email or telephone is always an option.
Beginning your studies
Every year before the official academic semester starts, the faculty’s student body organises an introduction week for the new students. These first five days of first acquaintance and orientation are always fun and include a city rally, a sports day, barbeque as well as a tour across the clinic premises.
There are always opportunities for a stay abroad, during every section of the study path. You can do a nursing internship, clinical traineeships or a section of your clinical studies (e.g. ERASMUS program) in a foreign country. During the practical year, another chance to see another part of the world for one more several of the required quarters open up.
The Medical Faculty Mannheim also offers four Masters Programs (Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Health Economics and Translational Medical Research) which are especially suited for medical students and international applicants. You can apply for those after your first state examination.
The faculty runs an e-learning platform named moodle. On moodle, you can find all the material required for lectures and seminars, and even some records of lectures. What makes moodle unique are the interactive self-learning units, virtual seminars and simulations along with a communication tool, where the Office of Students Affairs often announces important information. The test results of your exams are also available on moodle. Online evaluation of each completed module is also performed via moodle. Moodle is therefore the most important source of information for students at the Medical Faculty Mannheim.