Medical education is mainly a practical training; its most important part is that our students can learn the profession in small groups, in conditions similar to the practice of their future profession, next to the sick bed, with the personal example and guidance of our instructors. This knowledge cannot be acquired from books. At most medical education institutions the number of sick beds is scarce compared to the number of the students; it is also the situation in Pécs. This is the reason why we have introduced the external practice places and the teaching hospital practice where there are fewer students for each doctor; therefore, the doctors can deal with the students more thoroughly.
The practices are held outside the Medical School’s headquarters in strictly controlled conditions based on the syllabus created by the directors of the clinics teaching the given subjects. The introduced clinical practice registration book contains the list of required knowledge, which are essential in the various professions and which are considered the most important. This list is divided into three further groups depending on the fact whether the medical student a) needs only to see the intervention during his/her studies, b) needs to carry out the given diagnostic and therapeutic intervention under supervision or c) needs to be able to carry them out independently, without supervision. We pay special attention to the effectiveness of the practical requirements and to the documentation of carrying out the practices from the registration to the end of the practice (acquiring signatures and practice grades, certifying the completion of the professional practice), which guarantees that the students have the practical knowledge necessary for their graduation.
From the institutions that are not accredited by our School we only take into account the time spent at such practice places about which we have ascertained that the given practice place has a proper qualification from an accreditation body accepted by our School. In Hungary, the accredited departments of the three other medical training institutions belong here (however, in every case the approval and possible additional recommendation of the heads of the given programmes is necessary). Besides having the proper certificates, we only accept practice time spent at training institutions in the European Union that have EU accreditation; and at institutions outside the EU that are accredited by the MAB (HAC = Hungarian Accreditation Committee). It is important that we only let our students apply for practice at such places whose accreditation certificate document is in our possession. When we ask for the institutions’ certificates, we take into account the differences between the accreditation levels; we specifically examine the accreditation documents regarding gradual medical training.
The leadership of the University of Pécs Medical School decided at the beginning of 2012 that the teaching hospital contracts must be reviewed and renewed. The aim of the renewal was to make the quality assurance of the acceptance of our medical diploma with good international reputation appropriate for the increasingly stricter requirements, and within this framework we have updated our well-functioning teaching hospital connections and we have involved new institutions in our system.
One of the great practical benefits of the teaching hospital system is that the 4th -5th -6th-year medical students can request their practice to be spent at a hospital closest to their place of residence, this way they can get acquainted with the curing activities of the hospital and the colleagues who work there. This can also be advantageous for the hospital as well since they have the opportunity to choose their future doctors from the medical students.
Based on the traditions of the former decades we have renewed the contracts with four hospitals (Szekszárd, Kaposvár, Zalaegerszeg, Szombathely) and besides these the new teaching hospitals are the St. Imre Teaching Hospital in Budapest, the South-Pest Hospital Centre – National Institute for Infectology and Haematology also in Budapest, the Petz Aladár County Hospital in Győr, the Ferenc Csolnoky Hospital in Veszprém county, the County Hospital Fejér, Szent György Hospital in Székesfehérvár, and the National Blood Bank, Regional Centre in Pécs.
All the above-mentioned hospitals have been accredited on different levels for the resident (specialist) training, accreditation is always carried out on the level of departments. According to the Medical School’s current practice, only those hospitals can use the Teaching Hospital title that have at least three departments accredited for specialist training. Requirements for the specialist training accreditation, which is carried out based on the following regulation: 16/2010. (IV. 15.) EüM rendelet, are higher than those of the gradual training, therefore another accreditation for the gradual teaching of clinical subjects was not necessary. However, it is important to mention that currently the development of an accreditation process is in progress that would examine only the requirements of the gradual training, since the accreditation for specialist training in some cases excludes such institutions where the students could acquire practices required to gradual training and are not profession-specific. The separation of these two levels is an important step considering the increasing need for practice; the gradual training’s level and device requirements can be met at a lower accreditation standard as well.
The conditions of the cooperation with our teaching hospitals have been laid down in bilateral teaching hospital contracts, which are available in the Dean’s Office of our Medical School, in the Rector’s Office of the University of Pécs, and also in the certain teaching hospitals. Furthermore, the School and each hospital ensure the constant flow of information through appointed contact persons, which extends to the reception, orientation and briefing of the students (including the accommodation or dining options), to registering the students and also to the tracking and management of the accidental changes or unexpected situations. Besides the ordinary accreditation process, the leadership of the School finds the ongoing contact with the leadership of the teaching hospital very important, therefore a senior professor asked by the dean of the School and also the members of the School’s leadership frequently visit the institutions. Moreover, the School itself also organizes meetings and professional forums for the leadership of the hospitals with the aim of keeping in touch with them. Beyond these, our School supports the colleagues working in our teaching hospitals in acquiring a scientific qualification (PhD) at our School, for instance by providing free education for them.
In connection with the practices, we manage the students’ opinions with high priority collected by the colleagues of the Registrar’s Office at the end of the practices and then evaluated by the Feedback Committee. The questionnaire is available on the website of the Registrar’s Office. Filling out the questionnaires is of course voluntary and anonymous. We also provide further opportunities for the students to give their opinions and feedback with the dean’s office hours, with interviewing the students after the practices, and the School’s leadership takes into account the feedback of the graduates as well when planning possible changes.
The list of our teaching hospitals and the contact information of the hospitals’ contact persons are available on our website under “Departments”; the updated list of our external training institutions accredited for specialist training is available on the website of the Registrar’s Office under “Professional practices” (http://www.aok.pte.hu/docs/th/file/magyar_oktato_korhazak_HU.pdf).