Medical training at the Faculty of Medicine
- The duration of training in medicine is six years.
- It involves training in preclinical and clinical disciplines, as well as a one-year clinical rotation.
- The general and special medical disciplines are taught in their logical consequence and interrelation.
- The training process is in accordance with the modern requirements for higher medical education. Experienced lecturers and modern infrastructure are prerequisites for excellent theoretical training and development of practical skills of physicians graduating from Medical University Plovdiv.
- After passing the state examinations the students obtain Master’s degree and a professional qualification of Physicians.
The Faculty of Medicine during the years
The Faculty of Medicine is the foundation upon which the Higher Institute of Medicine and later its successor – Medical University Plovdiv have been built. The Faculty of Medicine maintains the prestige of an internationally acclaimed educational and research center, in which 2862 students in medicine are currently being trained. The training is conducted in Bulgarian and English. Approximately 1721 foreign medical students are citizens of 47 countries from 5 continents, including Great Britain, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Cyprus, Portugal, Denmark, Australia, the USA, China, Sweden, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, etc. In addition to the modern facilities for theoretical training and the newly equipped classrooms, the practical training of the medical students is conducted in several university hospitals with high-tech diagnostic and therapeutic units, equipped with conventional and modern apparatuses. The students and the postgraduates have the opportunity to be trained at the largest complex training center for medical specialists in Bulgaria – The Medical Simulation Training Centre at Medical University Plovdiv.
The Faculty of Medicine consists of 29 departments. The most recent one is the Department of Endocrinology (2020).
The main priority of the Faculty of Medicine is to improve the quality of training and to develop the syllabi in accordance with the European and the Uniform State Requirements for medicine. That is why the syllabi and the curriculum are frequently revised. They are published on the university website in both Bulgarian and English. The Credit Transfer and Accumulation System of all the mandatory and elective disciplines has also been updated. The training in medicine gives the students the opportunity to choose between 27 elective disciplines, so that they can accumulate credits from the first until the sixth year. The number of the disciplines is increasing and they are of great interest among the students. There are 17 extracurricular study groups, in which students can enrich their knowledge.
Taking into consideration the increasing number of foreign students for the period 2015-2019, the weekly training schedules in certain sections and departments have been updated, so that the training process can be optimised.
The Faculty Quality Committee frequently conducts audits and controls the training process – lectures, practical seminars, preclinical internship, and the necessary equipment. Feedback is provided by means of surveys of the students’ opinion on the training.
The improved quality and organisation of the training process, as well as the students’ motivation are reflected in the high learning outcomes. The class of 2019, consisting of 214 graduates (127 Bulgarian and 87 foreign students) obtained the average 4.85 grade of all courses and a very good 5.09 grade at the state exams. Forty-eight students obtained excellent grades from their studies and the state exams, and three of them were awarded with the Golden Hippocrates.
The research activities of the Faculty of Medicine reflect the current priority areas included in the university development programme. It is aimed at introducing new methods and innovative technologies in endoscopic surgery and microsurgery, imaging techniques, nuclear medicine, and radiotherapy; development of pharmacogenomics and personalised medicine; prevention, diagnostics, therapy, and social adaptation in oncological, cardiovascular and neurological conditions; creation and implementation of new methods and technologies in the medical practice. For the most part these priorities make up the project and research activities of the Faculty of Medicine. Sixty-six intra-university projects in 9 project sessions were approved during the period 2015-2019. Two hundred and fifty lecturers, 39 doctoral and undergraduate students were involved in the projects. There is a positive tendency to invite undergraduate and PhD students in the teams of authors.
The research activities of the academic staff at the Faculty of Medicine during the period 2015-2019 are significant. The total number of the publications of the lecturers at the Faculty of Medicine is 2241. More than 1000 of them are full-text articles or reports, published in international journals, and 400 of them have an impact factor. During this period members of the academic staff presented 1876 reports and posters at scientific forums, 802 of which at scientific conferences abroad. Seventy-seven monographs, 265 textbooks and handbooks were published. One hundred and thirty-eight of them are individual publications.
The intensive research activities at the Faculty of Medicine are reflected in the number of defended dissertations. During the period 2015 – 2019, 129 dissertations were defended for obtaining a PhD Degree, and 10 dissertations for obtaining the scientific degree “Doctor of Medical Sciences”. Fifty-three lecturers obtained academic ranks. Eighteen of them obtained the rank “Full Professor” and 35 of them – the rank “Associate Professor”.
Forty doctoral programmes in medicine and 8 in biological sciences have been accredited.
The PhD students and the young scientists are made familiar with the foundations of research at the Doctoral School of MUP, as well as under the “Doctorant-1” and “Doctorant-2” projects. The young doctoral and postdoctoral students receive additional support for their research activities within the National Programme “Young Scientists and Postdoctoral Students”.
The Faculty of Medicine has carried out numerous international activities. During the period 2015-2019, 178 student and 65 teaching Erasmus+ mobility agreements were signed, as well as 45 outgoing mobility agreements with the Open Medical Institute in Salzburg. Students take part in the exchange programmes of the AMS, IFMSA и EMSA, Medical Students Without Borders. Twenty-seven guest lecturers – leading world scientists and specialists in experimental and clinical medicine were invited during the same period. The Faculty of Medicine is a member of 137 international and 140 Bulgarian educational and research organisations.
The achievements of the Faculty of Medicine at Medical University Plovdiv are recognised by the NEAA in the programme accreditation of the specialty “Medicine” with a total score of 9.49, as well as in the Bulgarian University Ranking System. The medical training at the Faculty of Medicine has taken the first place among the medical faculties in Bulgaria for a second subsequent year.