Medicine Schools and Programs in Austria

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Medicine Studies in Austria

Are you thinking about participating in a study abroad program—a program which allows you to study and live for a semester or year in a foreign country?  Have you considered the beautiful country of Austria as a potential study abroad locale?  Austria is a great place in which to study medicine, as the country boasts some of the finest educational institutions in the world.  Moreover, its centralized location within Europe makes it the perfect gateway for exploring all the great countries and cities the continent has to offer.

Austria, known in official circles as the Republic of Austria, is a federal republic and a landlocked country in Central Europe, with a population of roughly 8.5 million inhabitants. The sovereign nation shares borders with the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west.  The territory of Austria covers a total of 32,377 square miles (83,855 square kilometers) and has a temperate and alpine climate.  Austria's terrain is highly mountainous due to the presence of the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 meters (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 meters (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene

The Austria of today is organized as a parliamentary representative democracy consisting of nine federal states. The capital and largest city, with a population exceeding 1.7 million, is the world-class city of Vienna.  Austria is one of the richest countries per capita in the world, with a nominal per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $46,330. The country has developed a high standard of living and in 2011 was ranked 19th in the world for its Human Development Index. Much of the reason for Austria’s past and continued success is its excellent system of higher education, which boasts some of the finest institutions of higher learning in the world.

Medical Education in Austria

As is the case in most highly developed nations, international students in Austria who desire to pursue courses and later a career in the medical field must initially earn their undergraduate degree in a science-related field, such as Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, etc.  Students must also take and pass the National Medical School entrance examination prior to being considered for admission.

Education leading to a degree in medicine is offered by a select few of Austria’s fine universities.  Students who earn acceptance into medical school will first undergo a 4-5 year program of advanced medical education, a program which combines medical theory courses in a classroom setting with practical laboratory experience.  For the most part, the initial part of a student’s medical education is divided between preclinical and clinical studies.  The former consists of studies in the basic sciences, including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology and pharmacology.  The latter consists of teaching in the various areas of clinical medicine, such as internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry and surgery.  Some of the Austrian institutions that offer medical education are now using a systems-based curriculum, in which the pre-clinical and clinical studies are integrated, much like one would integrate their general education requirements with their upper-division coursework.

Following the completion of their studies, newly graduated medical doctors are typically required to undertake a period of supervised practice before full licensure is granted; this most often comes in the form of a one to two-year program known as an "internship" a "provisional registration" or a "residency".

To maintain their medical license, students must periodically earn continuing education credits to keep them abreast of new medical theories and technologies.  Further training in a specific field or specialty within the medical discipline may also be undertaken for students who wish to focus exclusively on a particular area of medicine (orthopedics, psychiatry, etc.). In some jurisdictions within Austria, these types of studies are commenced immediately following the completion of entry-level training, while in other countries junior doctors are required to undertake generalist training for a number of years before beginning specialized training.

Why Study Abroad in Austria

Studying in the beautiful country of Austria is a choice being made by an increasing number of students each year.  Not only does the country boast a top-notch system of medical education, it is also bursting at the seams with history and culture, much of which is reflected in the nation’s precious array of interesting sites and attractions.  Below are just a few of the things students will be treated to in Austria when they get a break from their studies.

Melk Abbey

Melk Abbey is one of the most famous monasteries in the world. Situated high atop a cliff, overlooking the calming waters of the Danube River, the peaceful Benedictine abbey was once the castle of Leopold II. The structure was later given to the monks, who transformed it into a place of tranquility and learning in 1089. The impressive spiritual center has become one of the greatest examples of Baroque architecture and the flourishing musical and liberal arts of its time.

Vienna State Opera

Situated in the middle of Austria’s bustling capital city, the Vienna State Opera is a stunning example of architectural brilliance and quite possibly the most celebrated opera house of all time. The orchestra is recognized as one of the best in the world. While visiting this treasure, be sure to take in one of history’s most famous operas or ballets performed here, offered in both classical and modern versions to suit your individual tastes.

Seefeld, Tyrol

Located in the gorgeous city of Tyrol, Seefeld is a great sightseeing destination for all the sports lovers in your group. A two time home to the Winter Olympics, Seefeld is an important cross-country skiing center with terrain that is compatible for both beginner and intermediate skiers. Located on a spectacular nature reserve, it is the perfect spot, not only for cold-weather sports, but for warm-weather strolls and hiking. Offering the most luxuriously upscale accommodations, Seefeld is your relaxing resort getaway.

Hohensalzburg Castle

The awe-inspiring Salzburg castle is one of the largest and most well-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Strategically located at the top of Festungsberg Mountain, the mighty fortress literally towers over the city of Salzburg, breathing life into its magnificent skyline. Among other exhibits, the castle is home to the “Salzburg Bull”, an organ with more than two hundred pipes. A truly stunning piece of medieval architecture, representative of the heart of Salzburg, Hohensalzburg Castle is one of the top tourist attractions in Austria.

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