The Católica Integrated Master in Medicine presents differentiating characteristics that make it unique and innovative, among which are:
- Promotion of excellence in medical education, through a curriculum with a pedagogical methodology based on problem-solving. This method, internationally validated in prestigious university centres, has proven its success and is subject to constant quality monitoring by the entity responsible for its initial development - Maastricht University - and by a structure specifically created for this purpose at the Católica Medical School (the Centre for Medical Education), with periodic evaluation reports of the teaching-learning-evaluation process, to be discussed internally and externally with the main stakeholders;
- Promotion of research with a culture of openness to the world, cultivating the transversality of knowledge based in the Christian humanist principles of UCP;
- A culture of proximity to and centrality of the person, in various aspects: teaching; research; community orientation;
- Opening of medical education to international students, as in other academic units at Católica.
These differentiating features of the Integrated Master in Medicine will make it possible to promote medical training based on both clinical competence and research capacity, particularly in translation research — of impact and application in health practices and policies. This is only possible through the teaching-learning-evaluation methodology of this course, associated with the goal of developing reflexive and critical thinking in scientific training, essential to the exercise, in excellence, of clinical practice.
Based on the experience of more than 50 years of the Maastricht University, this Integrated Master in Medicine seeks to respond to the needs of the practice of Medicine in the 21st century, through the use of different and innovative pedagogical strategies and methodologies that translate into a unique curricular structure that promotes, namely:
- Curricular Units encompassing different scientific areas;
- Varied methodological features (including the Problem-based Learning – PBL) methodology;
- Use of different training techniques, using a simulation centre of excellence, such as the simulation of contact with patients. In this simulation centre continuous training in a series of medical procedures is foreseen, including not only communication aspects but also of clinical evaluation;
- Emphasis on the teaching and practice of reflection throughout the course through specific pedagogical strategies of diagnosis (personal portfolio, progress exams, consultation and reflection through simulation of contact with model patients/actors…);
- A student-teacher ratio of two students per doctor, truly exceptional in a field where the national average is 7.53;
- Training in medical research, with an emphasis on clinical areas and on translational research.
Other distinguishing features of this Integrated Master in Medicine are:
- Regarding teaching, the creation of a close relationship between professors and students, through a mentoring programme;
- Regarding the curriculum, the introduction of research in the study plan of the Integrated Master in Medicine, through the creation of a 6th year curricular unit, with the execution of a traineeship in scientific research.
- The emphasis on mandatory training for all professors in the teaching methodologies used, drawing on the experience of the Institute of Medical Education of the Maastricht University.