Faculty of Medicine of Comenius University founded in 1919 is one of the oldest and most prestigious faculties of the Comenius University. It was the first medical faculty in Slovakia and due to its tradition and high standard of study programs it has attracted the brightest students from all regions of Slovakia and worldwide.
Academia Istropolitana (Universitas Histropolitana) in Bratislava, established according to the University of Bologna in the 15thcentury (1467), was the first university in the Kingdom of Hungary. In spite of its short duration, the University contributed to spreading the ideas about humanism. The first Faculty of Medicine was established in 1769 in the Slovak Republic at Trnava University. Even though it’s teaching and research activities lasted only seven years, it contributed to the development of education in the former Kingdom of Hungary.
The result of efforts to revitalize the University of Bratislava in the late 19thcentury was the establishment of the Royal Elizabethan University in Bratislava in 1912. Its Faculty of Medicine was founded in April 1918.
Lectures for students in their third to fifth years started in the winter semester of the 1918/19 academic year in the Hungarian language, which was the official language at that time. The first auditorium was on the premises of the Provincial governmental hospital at Mickiewiczova 13 (nowadays − the University Hospital). The Dean’s offices were situated in Aspremont’s palace by Schiffbeck’s Garden (now − the Medical Garden). In the newly created first Czechoslovak Republic (1918), the Elizabethan University was gradually based on government regulations. After relocating the Elizabethan University to Pätikostolia (Hungary), Slovak lecturers at Charles University in Prague and many Slovak politicians began to establish the Slovak University in Bratislava.
Members of the National Assembly of the Czechoslovak Republic adopted Act No. 375/1919 Coll. on July 27, 1919, which led to the establishment of the Czechoslovak State University in Bratislava. The languages of instruction were Slovak and Czech. In November 1919, the University was named Comenius University after the world-renowned educator Jan Amos Comenius.
The first staff of professors of the Faculty of Medicine Comenius University in Bratislava, who also represented the leadership of Comenius University, consisted of professors originally working at Charles University in Prague. The first President of Comenius University was a professor of Internal Medicine Kristian Hynek, MD. and the first dean of the Faculty of Medicine was a professor of Gynecology Gustav Müller, MD.Since September 21, 1919, the Faculty of Medicine Comenius University was the first and only faculty of the new University of Bratislava. The Faculty consisted of seven departments: Department of Surgery (Head Prof. Stanislav Kostlivý, MD.), Department of Internal Medicine (Head Prof. Kristian Hynek, MD.), Department of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women (Head Prof. Gustav Müller, MD.), Department of Ophthalmology (Head Prof.RomanKadlický, MD.), Department of Pediatrics (Head Prof. Jiří Brdlík, MD.), Department of Nervous and Mental Diseases (Head Prof. Zdeněk Mysliveček, MD.) and Department of Dentistry (Head Prof. Adolf Mach, MD.).The first theoretical workplaces were the following institutes: Institute of Hygiene (Head Prof. Stanislav Ružička, MD.), Institute of Forensic Medicine (Head Prof. František Prokop, MD.), Institute of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy (Head Prof. Bohuslav Polák, MD.), Institute of Pathology and Anatomy (Head Prof. Antonín Spilka, MD.), Institute of Social Medicine (since 1919 existed only de jure), Institute of General and Experimental Pathology (Head Prof. Miloš Netoušek, MD.). New clinics and departments were gradually added.
Theoretical institutes were established in the academic year 1922/23, which created conditions for teaching in all years of study at the Faculty of Medicine. Provisional and unsuitable spatial conditions and equipment were partly improved in 1927 when the first of the new buildings were put into operation at Sasinkova Street No. 2. Despite all efforts at that time, the second of the planned buildings was not built until the early sixties of the last century (Sasinkova Street No. 4).
Clinical training courses for 144 students started in December of the 1919/1920 academic year.
The first graduation ceremony was held in February 1920 with its first graduate Pavol Halaša. In addition to undergraduate studies, the Faculty of Medicine became the base of postgraduate education in the form of in-service training for general practitioners. Not only were Slovak students interested in studying at the Faculty of Medicine in Bratislava, but students from abroad also showed their interest. At the beginning of the 1930s, students from abroad accounted for nearly half of all students.
The Faculty maintained professional contacts not only with colleagues from Prague and Brno since the first years of operation but also with many renowned international medical universities and scientific medical institutions in Paris, London, Berlin, Budapest, and Vienna, respectively.
In the late 1930s, mainly due to the political changes after the forced departure of the Czech professors, the educational process and the development of medical specialties involved members of the first generation of Slovak physicians – graduates from the Faculty of Medicine. Many of them successfully participated in the development of medical, biological and pedagogical sciences in Slovakia. The results of their research work met with favorable reception abroad. Among professors J. Ledényi-Ladziansky, MD., of the Institute of Anatomy became a codifier of the Slovak anatomical terminology; A. J. Chura, MD., of the Department of Pediatrics, laid the foundation for Social Pediatrics in Slovakia; Ľ. Valach, MD., significantly contributed to the development of Radiotherapy; J. Fridrichovský, MD., became the first Slovak professor of Dentistry; E. Filo, MD., and L. Derer, MD., are the first Slovak professors of Internal Medicine.
Other prominent members of the Faculty of Medicine Comenius University, who contributed to the development of the Faculty and medical sciences, are a professor of Pathology, F. Šubík, MD.; a professor of Urology, M. Jakšy, MD.; Head of the Department of Medical Chemistry, Prof. Dr. tech. F. Valentín; and a professor of Pharmacology, F. Švec, MD., and many others.
Professors of the Faculty of Medicine Comenius University significantly contributed to the establishment of the Association of Czech-Slovak Physicians in 1920, the Association of Czech-Slovak Medical Students in Bratislava and the first Slovak scientific journal – Bratislava Medical Journal (1921).
The events of World War II had a negative impact not only on the life of the Faculty, but mainly causedenormous material damage. The political system after 1948 influenced the Faculty’s deviation from its original direction to European and world scientific-educational and social structures.
The start of centralized management of universities subjected to the Higher Education Act of 1950 meant cancellation of the institutes and new departments were not created.
From the academic year 1952/1953, the programs of Dentistry and Pediatrics were opened in addition to the program of General Medicine. Since 1991, the Faculty has been preparing future pediatricians within the field of general medicine.
Since 1957, scientific research at the Faculty concentrated on the issues of regeneration and transplantation of organs, cardiorespiratory dynamics, metabolism, and oncology. Since the late 1960s, research projects integrated into state and departmental research plans. The collection of scientific papers Folia Universitatis Facultatis Medicae Comenianae Bratislavensis (1963 − 992) of the Faculty played a particularly important role in publishing the results of research projects of the Faculty staff.
In the early 1980s, the research of the Faculty paid attention especially to the issues of degenerative processes and diseases of the musculoskeletal and vascular diseases of the CNS. In collaboration with the universities of the former socialist community, scientific research of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in cardiovascular diseases and immune processes within the context of organ transplantation was developed.
After November 1989, the Faculty was one of the first universities in the framework of the former
Czechoslovakia to form an academic board, later renamed as the Academic Senate of the Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University (the first meeting of January 11, 1990). In 1990, the Faculty returned to its original organizational structure, which currently comprises 73 institutes and departments.
Primary goal of the Faculty is to provide first class education for future health care professionals. Currently the school offers two main study programs: General Medicine and Dentistry, both are 6 year day-time doctoral studies in Slovak or in English language. Traditionally the lectures were in Slovak, but since 1993 faculty offer both programs in English focused primarily on the international students. Thanks to successful graduates Bratislava and its Faculty of Medicine has become known in many countries worldwide.
The students graduate with the degree MUDr. (Medicinae Universae Doctor) and MDDr. (Medicinae Dentale Doctor) respectively. Faculty of Medicine also offers the possibility of advanced degrees in postgraduate PhD programs and Residency Training Programs. All programs offered by Comenius University Faculty of Medicine are accredited by the Accreditation Committee of Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic. Comenius University Faculty of Medicine ranks among the best national public institutions devoted to medical education and research. It is considered to be the opinion leader in preventive and treatment medical programs that participate in many national and international research activities.
Faculty of Medicine Theoretical Buildings and the Dean’s offices are located in the historical city, next to the beautiful public „Medical garden“. The Faculty Hospital serving as the clinical base for the students is situated in several separate buildings in the center and also in the suburbs with convenient access to each other.
Faculty of Medicine is one of the thirteen faculties of Comenius University in Bratislava. The Rector is the statutory body acting on behalf of Comenius University, advised by the Vice Rectors with defined competencies. The faculty representative is the Dean elected for a 4-year period by the Academic Senate. The Dean’s office is responsible for administrative and economic issues of the faculty. The Dean is advised by the Board of vice Deans, each Vice Dean is in charge of particular area (study, science, international relations, social care, etc.).
The Academic senate is the highest autonomous academic faculty authority with coordinating and controlling responsibilities. The senate consists of two parts the Representatives of Employees and the Representatives of Students. The Scientific Board is the autonomous body of the faculty guaranteeing scientific and research standards of the faculty.
The history of higher education in Bratislava dates back to the 15thcentury. In 1467, King Matthias Corvinus following the order of his era and aiming to increase the splendor of his empire signed the founding chapter of the first University, baptized as Academia Istropolitana. For the following several centuries, Bratislava remained an important and flourishing multi-ethnic and multicultural administrative and financial center of the entire Carpathian Valley. The development of the University was interrupted several times by history; nevertheless the idea of higher education has shown remarkable persistence having revived from time to time and now is striving for integration in its full structure. Today’s University, which since 1919 carries the name of the famous pedagogue and philosopher, Johann Amos Comenius (Komensky) “the teacher of nations”, is rooted in this progressive spiritual heritage. During the last eight decades, thousands of physicians,lawyers and students of humanities graduated from the University. Besides professional knowledge, they received from alma mater moral support and love for their professions. At the same time, professors of the University, particularly of the Medical School became determinants of the intellectual life in the region by founding periodicals, associations they contributed to the spread of intellectual values.
Today, Comenius University in Bratislava represents modern European university with significant impact in the field of education and science. Comenius University in Bratislava has once again made it into the list of the top 500 universities in the world. The Round University Ranking (RUR) placed Comenius University in 433rdplace, scored highest in the areas of education (220thplace). Comenius University was the only Slovak university to be included in the ranking. It improved its ranking by 12 places, having been ranked 445thin 2016.
First to third year’s courses provide theoretical and pre-clinical lectures, labs and practical classes, the remainder of the fourth and sixth years include diverse clinical experiences.
High quality education of medical students is main point of mission of the Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava. Currently, the Faculty offers two main undergraduate study programs: General Medicine and Dental Medicine both a six year day-time doctoral study in Slovak or in English languages. The standard course of study lasts six years (12 semesters). Each academic year starts in September and lasts till the end of August of the following year. The academic year is divided into two semesters, winter semester (spread over September till February) and summer semester (spread over February till August).
Courses during the first to third year provide theoretical and pre-clinical lectures, labs and practical classes, the remainder of the fourth to sixth year include diverse clinical experiences. Courses of General Medicine and Dentistry are held in more than 50 theoretical and clinical institutes and departments.
The main aim of Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava is pedagogical and educational process, scientific and research activities and curative and preventive treatment. At the beginning of its existence, students were trained in so-called clinical subjects and later in theoretical subjects. Faculty prepared over 17 000 physicians who are either from Slovakia or from other European states, Asia, Africa and America.
Demanding aims of the Faculty are provided by institutes, hospitals, special facilities in close cooperation with teaching hospitals and further health-service institutions. The graduates of the Faculty can continue in their research in postgraduate training in an appropriate department leading to the award of PhD degree. Faculty’s professional medical journal Bratislava Medical Journal, founded in 1921, is also an important source of information and stimuli for scientific, clinical, and experimental research. Since 1990, the Bratislava Association of Medical Students (BSM) has been working at the Faculty in the field of international cooperation and scientific information.
Form of study:6-year doctoral full-time study
Characteristics of the Study branch
The undergraduate study branch General Medicine provides general natural science education that is based on human and ethical principles. The education includes theory of anatomical structure of the organism and its physiological functions. On this basis is set the further education of essential principles of etiology and pathogenesis of pathological state and ways of treatment. The study is a complex of education focused on diagnostics, differential diagnostics, therapy and prevention of diseases. During undergraduate education, a student of the Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University acquires sound theoretical and practical knowledge, which enables him/her to think medically and to deepen his/her education in any specialization.
Profile of a Graduate
The main task of undergraduate program at the Faculty of Medicine is to educate the students.
Continuation of this undergraduate education is postgraduate education that prepares doctors for particular specialization. In the course of undergraduate education, students of the Faculty of Medicine are expected to acquire comprehensive theoretical knowledge, which enables them to think scientifically and to deepen their education in any specialized branch.
Program of studies
Pre-clinical studies in the first year cover subjects such as Anatomy, Medical Biology and Human Genetics, Histology and Embryology, Medical Chemistry, Medical Biophysics, Medical Ethics, Latin Medical Terminology, Nursing, First Aid, and Slovak Language.
Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Physiology, Medical Biochemistry, Medical Psychology and Communication with Patients, Microbiology, Introduction to Science, and Slovak Language.
Clinical studies start with introduction into Internal Medicine and Surgery, which continue through to the fifth year. Other subjects include Pathological Anatomy, Pathological Physiology, Pharmacology, and Immunology.
Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pharmacology, Paediatrics, Hygiene, Medical Ethics, Social Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, Sports Medicine, Dental Medicine, Radiology and Nuclear Medicine,Oncology, Anaesthesiology, and Diploma Work.
Focused on Internal Medicine, Surgery and Paediatrics, with added topics – Epidemiology, Ophthalmology, Dermatovenerology, Forensic Medicine, Otorhinolaryngology, Psychiatry, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Infectology, Family Medicine, Urgent Medicine, and Diploma Work.
Is spent in one of University Hospitals, where clinical clerkship is realized at clinical in-patient departments, wards and out-patient departments in Internal Medicine, Surgery, Paediatrics, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, concluded by state examinations and Defence of the Diploma Work.
Form of study:6-year doctoral full-time study
Characteristics of the Study branch
Dentistry is an independent medical branch, which includes diagnostics, prevention and treatment of the diseased states of oral cavity and teeth. It includes mainly the two most commonly occurred chronic infectious diseases of the population – dental caries and periodontal diseases and their complications, as well as other states that affect oral cavity and maxillo-facial part. The extent of general medical knowledge is in the content required for health prevention with special orientation for health and diseases of oral cavity in connection with the whole organism.
Profile of a Graduate
A graduate of the Dentistry study branch acquires sufficient theoretical and practical knowledge, required skills, so that he/she could after completion of the study independently carry out basic tasks in preventive and therapeutic dental care. In theory, he/she masters the required knowledge of theoretical and preclinical subjects and clinical branches of medicine and mainly dentistry in the context with integrity of the whole organism. In practice he/she learns the basic diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive methods, so that he/she will be able to carry out independently all common practical tasks and operations in oral cavity and he/she will apply this knowledge in his/her profession and practice. He/she has general medical view, multidisciplinary medical approach and follows the scientific basics of medicine. He/she knows the connections between the diseases of the whole organism and the diseases of oral cavity and face according to the study of general medical clinical subjects. He/she is able to make complex preventive treatment plan of patient care and realizes it on the basis of contemporary knowledge from the whole complex of dental medicine subjects and organization of a dentist’s work. The required level of his ability and knowledge is in accordance with the Regulation of the Council of member states of EU No. 78/686/EEC accepted by ME SR.
Program of studies
Pre-clinical studies in the first year cover subjects such as Anatomy, Medical Biophysics, and Medical Biology and Human Genetics, Dental Materials and Technologies, Physiology, Histology and Embryology, Medical Chemistry, Latin Medical Terminology, Preclinical Dentistry, First Aid, and Slovak Language.
Continuation of Dental Materials and Technologies, Preclinical Dentistry, Physiology, Histology and Embryology, Topographical Anatomy of the Head, Medical Biochemistry, Immunology, Pathological Anatomy, Pathological Physiology, Medical Microbiology, Medical Ethics, and Slovak Language.
Dental Materials and Technologies, Pharmacology, Pathological Anatomy, Pathological Physiology, Internal Propedeutics, Surgical Propedeutics, Preventive Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Oral Surgery, Dental Prosthetics, General and Dental Radiology, Medical Psychology and Communication with Patients, Latin clinical Terminology, and Slovak Language.
Oral Surgery, Endodontics, Dental Prosthetics, Orthodontics, Neurology, Psychiatry, Internal
Medicine, Surgery, Otorhinolaryngology and Ophthalmology, and Diploma Work.
Focused on Maxillofacial Surgery, Dental Prosthetics, Restorative Dentistry, Periodontology,
Orthodontics, Gerontostomatology, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Paediatrics, Dermatovenerology, and Diploma Work. In the fifth year are included two state examinations, from Internal Medicine and Surgery.
Preventive Dentistry, Paediatric Dentistry, Periodontology, Orthodontics, Epidemiology, Hygiene,
Social Medicine, Forensic Medicine, and three state examinations, from Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthopedic Dentistry and Therapeutic Dentistry, and Defense of the Diploma Work.