MeCuM International boosts medics’ mobility
LMU’s Medical Curriculum München (MeCuM) International has been awarded the coveted COM2UNI (Committed to Uniqueness) Prize by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). This accolade is awarded to university courses and study programs at German universities that offer students a high degree of international mobility by enabling them to acquire professional experience in diverse settings abroad, and well as equipping them with intercultural skills that will stand them in good stead in their later careers. The award to MeCuM International comes with 7,500 euros in prize money.
MeCuM International provides medical students with a range of opportunities to gain experience abroad during the course of their training. In addition to the classical route of spending a semester at a foreign university, the program makes it possible for students to gain experience as a clinical intern, or as part of the obligatory practical year at one or other of 60 partner universities around the world. It therefore dovetails neatly with the requirements for the so-called Project Semester Module 6. Instead of attending a set course of lectures, students who choose this option can devote the semester to their own projects, working on their doctoral theses or on projects in Medical Didactics or Public Health - at home or abroad.
The LMU Medical Faculty has also created a program dubbed MeCuM StEP (Student Excellence Program) which is quite unique in its concept. It is designed for medical students in the practical year, who wish to do their 4-month stint in Internal Medicine at one of the StEP partner universities in the US, Canada and Australia. Participants in the program undergo an intensive preparatory course in which they become acquainted with the organization of medical education in English-speaking countries. In addition, they receive special training in Medical Didactics to enable them to undertake a project related to the further development of the Medical Curriculum München during their stay abroad.
The Faculty is also affiliated with the Public Health Program organized by the United States-European Union Medical Education Exchange (US-EU MEE), which supports institutional and individual exchanges. Since 1997 the US-EU MEE has enabled American and European medical students to do a clinical rotation at a participating institution – such as Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, or King’s College in London. The aim of the program is to stimulate comparative analyses of healthcare systems in Europe and America.
MeCuM has also set up an exchange scheme with Brazil. LMUexchange Brazil is also addressed to students embarking on or engaged in their practical year, and was developed in cooperation with the Bavarian University Center for Latin America (BAYLAT).
The LMU Medical Faculty also offers courses conducted in English. For example, the Winter Academies in Neurology and Oncology combine practical clinical training with a broad spectrum of theoretical topics, and are open to international medical students as well as their LMU colleagues.
In each of these programs great care has been taken to ensure that students receive full credit from own universities for their academic performance at partner institutions: For instance, German and Ethiopian who successfully take part in the exchange program in Gynecology between LMU and Jimma University (JU) in Ethiopia not only learn the subject and how it is practiced in the receiving country, they also earn points which are accredited to their academic record at home.
The Medical Faculty’s International Section has developed an online platform called E-Portfolio), which provides a means for exchange students to contact their fellow students at the receiving institution prior to, during and after their spell abroad, thus enabling them to compare notes and share tips with respect to things like course selection, preparing for exams and student life in general.
In addition, there are many other useful courses available, such as the one in International Medical Culture (IMECU), which is devoted to budding doctors understand cultural differences in the perceptions of medicine, or language courses that focus on specialized medical terminology (medilingua.lmu.de) and other international ventures, like the Erich Frank Society for the promotion of exchanges between medical students and physicians from Germany and Turkey.
Professor Martin Fischer, Dean of Studies in Clinical Medicine at LMU’s Faculty of Medicine is obviously pleased with the award: “I am very proud of what we have achieved so far. The prize money will be spent on extending the range of opportunities we can offer, specifically for exchanges with US universities. In future our students will be able, in the context of the Global Health Learning Opportunities Program set up by the Association of American Medical Colleges, to take practical courses in Clinical Medicine and Public Health, as well as undertaking practical work in research.”