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Besides the six state universities that offer English-language MD programs in Italy, there are three private universities that do the same. (Or, to be specific, there are two private pariochial Roman Catholic universities — the Cattolica in Rome and San Raffaele in Milan — and one private non-religious university, Humanitas, in Rozzano, between Milan and Pavia.) This week I visited some friends at Humanitas, and took lots of pictures. It is a lovely place.

If you are considering studying medicine in English in Italy, these three private universities may be an option for you. The Cattolica is known for being connected to the Policlinico Gemelli, the semi-official hospital of the Pope. San Raffaele and Humanitas are two biomedical research institutions around Milan. All of these schools have separate mission statements, admissions processes, and tuition schedules from those of the state universities.

Good, international-level research comes out of these private universities. I cannot speak in an informed manner about the student academic experience at Humanitas, because I have only heard a few anecdotal, second-hand accounts. Student bloggers have written little about Humanitas publicly, although you can find some description of the program in this very long thread at the UK’s Student Room website. Interestingly, the University of Milan International Medical School (which I attend and love) originated at Humanitas Hospital, which, until 2014, was state-run, and connected to the University of Milan. (It remains connected, insofar as many Humanitas professors also teach at, or collaborate with, the University of Milan.) At that time, the school was known as MiMed, and upon the creation of Humanitas University, the program split into the public IMS and the private Humanitas. Since some of the students at Humanitas originally enrolled via the University of Milan, the facility officially still serves both institutions.

rozzanoAlthough I do not have much knowledge of the Humanitas academic program, I can show you what the medical complex looks like, on the kind of nearly perfect spring day that you could only find in a few places on Earth, like the Napa Valley, the south of France, or northern Italy.

Rozzano is located about one-third of the way south from Milan to Pavia. You can reach Humanitas, however, from the Milan transportation system, via a special shuttle bus which connects to one of the terminal stations of the Milan Metro. That bus costs €1.50. To get to Humanitas from Milan, you take the subway green line to Abbiategrasso. The green line, incidentally, also connects you, in the northeast of the city, to Cascina Gobba and LITA, home of IMS Milan.

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The shuttle bus takes about 10 minutes or so, and drops you off in front of the hospital-university complex.

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One of the curious things about Rozzano is that across the entrance from Humanitas, there are a whole bunch of little stores, each specializing in a different kind of medical supplies. You can find orthopedics, optometry, podiatry, and so forth. It is almost like a health-equipment mini-mall.

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The hospital and university are located inside a pastoral, landscaped, gated complex. It was all built relatively recently; construction commenced in 1992.

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A statue in front of the hospital is dedicated to “to the women of Europe”. It was sponsored by the Federcasalinghe, a women’s organization which “represents people who carry out the work of the family“.

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The university is separated from the hospital complex by a footpath which carries you over a cute brook.

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This is the main hall of the university building, with a café and electronic signs announcing upcoming events.

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Here’s the university library…

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…and chapel.

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We also took a tour around the classrooms. The first-year English MD class at Humanitas has over 100 students — nearly three times the size of that of IMS — and so the teaching room is spacious.

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Here is another classroom.

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This was pretty unique to see: a “Medical English Lab” (with my reflection).

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These are postings of third-year clinical rotations.

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The university lunch was delicious — and inexpensive: 3 €.

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Unfortunately, I only got a picture of my meal — salmon, vegetables, and pasta — halfway after eating it. I nonetheless hope it gives you an idea of lunch at Humanitas.

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Because of the connection between Humanitas and the University of Milan, both schools have their plaques on the wall.

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A view of Humanitas hospital, from the university building:

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Here, we are inside the hospital. Its central corridor contains a restaurant area.

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It was a pleasant surprise to find a series of display panels about the functioning of the brain.

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Here is the hospital chapel (separate from the university chapel)…

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…and a tree in bloom, near the main gate.

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For prospective Humanitas students: here is more info on the curriculum, application procedure, and tuition fees.

Erik Campano