A Guide to Medical Schools in Czech Republic
Applying to Medical School · January 20, 2018 Mr Gerens Curnow
Mr. Gerens Curnow is a Medical Student from the University of Exeter. He is the winner of the Educator Development Committee Award from the Association for the Study of Medical Education. He is the author of three of our Medical School Application Guidebooks.
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in central Europe. Its capital, Prague, is ranked sixth on the TripAdvisor list of the world’s best destinations, and the country is home to some of the finest examples of architectural splendour anywhere in the world. From snowy mountains to rolling country hills, the Czech Republic is truly a spectacular place. It is certainly worth considering studying medicine in the Czech Republic, due to not only the high quality of teaching but the rich culture and history you can immerse yourself in.
There are three medical universities offering medical courses in English: Charles University (in Prague, Pilsen and Hradec Kralove), Masaryk University, and Palacký University. Charles University has five separate faculties of medicine. Each of these selects and admits its own students and has unique courses, giving a total of seven medical courses for applicants to choose from. Overall, Czech universities accept 270 English-speaking students into medical programs in English per year. These are in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and other healthcare related courses.
Medical Schools in Czech Republic Taught in English
- Palacky University: The course begins very traditionally, with studies of anatomy, biochemistry and physiology. Students then move onto more preclinical studies, such as pathology and surgery. Following this, students are introduced into clinical teaching, with programs in surgery, paediatrics, and neurology, alongside teaching in public health care.
- Charles University in Prague, First Faculty: As the oldest university for medicine in central Europe, and one of the oldest universities in general, this institution has a great history which translates to it's impressive medical program. With a faculty of over 1000, the medical school has a great focus on teaching the core scientific knowledge and then encouraging students to apply their knowledge in clinical practice.
- Charles University in Prague, Second Faculty: This institution continues the history of the faculty of paediatrics at Charles University. The first three years are preclinical where students are taught the theoretical disciplines, and this is followed by a three year clinical course. There is an opportunity to spend a term abroad, in places such as the UK and Germany.
- Charles University in Prague, Third Faculty: Established in 1953, the third faculty adopts an integrated teaching programme, with early exposure to patients. It has an entrance exam which is based on assessment of biology, chemistry and physics knowledge. Success in this will then result in an invitation to interview from which applicants are selected.
- Charles University in Pilsen: Founded in 1945, the course is similar to that of the second faculty. There is teaching of science, followed by pre-clinical teaching. Students get extensive clinical experience from the third year. There is an entrance exam is a multiple choice test assessing knowledge of biology, chemistry and physics.
- Charles University in Hradec Kralove: Founded in 1945, the University runs a 6 year medical course in English. Again, there is an entrance exam testing scientific knowledge, followed by an oral interview which assesses a candidate's motivation and suitability for medicine. Again, this is split up into two years of theoretical science, two years pre-clinical and two years entirely clinical.
- Masaryk University, in Brno: As the second largest University in the Czech Republic, Masaryk has a rich history in teaching medicine.
The courses at Czech medical schools are all six years in duration and follow a traditional pattern. The first two years are concerned with theoretical teaching in the basic sciences before students undertake pre-clinical training in years three and four, and finally clinical practice in the later years. All students are provided teaching in the Czech language in the early years, to ensure they are prepared to enter the clinical environment and communicate effectively with patients and staff. Teaching is delivered primarily through lectures, small-group sessions, and tutorials, though Problem-Based Learning is employed at the third medical faculty of Charles University.
All of the Czech medical schools require students to have completed secondary education in their respective country (i.e. have completed A-levels, IB, high school). Beyond this, applicants need to pass each local medical school’s admissions exam, which can be relatively challenging. In some universities, candidates with the highest grades may apply for exemption from the admissions exam, enabling automatic entry onto the course.
All of the Czech universities require their applicants sit an internal admissions exam. These are set by the university and are designed to test the applicants’ knowledge of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths. The level of the questions is equal to the amount of knowledge expected from someone who has achieved good results in their high-school education. Some of the schools offer information on the topics that are tested, as well as providing recommended resources for candidates to use as preparation.
Medical students opinions
The country itself is reportedly one of the best things about studying in the Czech Republic. Living costs are low, and the plethora of cultural opportunities available provides a unique opportunity for foreign students. Students also feel a great sense of pride in where they are studying, and enjoy the friendly atmosphere. International students have reported to us that the language barrier can cause a problem, and that the courses can occasionally feel disorganised. However, most of the feedback describes the medical schools in the Czech Republic as fantastic places to study. If you are interested in learning more about studying abroad view our guidebook "Get into Medical School Eastern Europe, Ireland & Italy".
We hope that these tips were helpful and you have a bit more insight into study medicine in the Czech Republic. If you have any questions, email us at hello@theMSAG.com.