Medical studies in English at UniCamillus, Rome
The Saint Camillus International University of Health Sciences Medicine and Surgery course for international medical students was born in November 2018 in Rome. UniCamillus is a private university that is fully accredited by the Italian Ministry of Education, and therefore issues the same degree as all the other Italian medical schools. This course is dedicated to all students (EU and non-EU) that are interested in the challenges presented by healthcare organization in developing countries. Its mission is to educate doctors that will be conscious about global health issues; graduates will be able to practice in the whole EU, and their education may be acknowledged all around the world, with special importance for diseases common in the Global South.
Classes are mandatory and may take place in the mornings and afternoons, but the students will also be prompted to study autonomously; the professors provide teaching material and recommend the latest editions of books that are commonly used in the US and UK medical schools. Clinical subjects start being addressed in the third year. The internal medicine disciplines are grouped in three exams named Systematic Pathology I, II, and III, while surgical and specialized topics such as neurology or pediatrics are spread across several semesters. A few hours are allocated to clinical practice even in the first two years, and proper rotations start in the third year.
Exams are taken in English and may be either written or oral tests, or both; official exam sessions are in February, June-July, and September. The UniCamillus teaching staff is composed of a dynamic blend of both experienced and younger professors, most of whom have had work experience in EU countries, the US, or developing countries.
The city of Rome
Also known as “The Eternal City”, Rome is the capital of Italy, and is located in the region of Lazio. It is a metropolitan city with more than 2 million inhabitants, and it is also where the Vatican – the State led by the Pope – is located. Founded approximately in the year 753 BC, its history is kept alive by the hundreds of monuments, ruins, and museums that can be found everywhere around the city. Rome is known for its warm, temperate climate, beautiful landscapes, intriguing history, and excellent cuisine. Notable sites and monuments include the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Vatican Museum, the Roman Forum, the Castel Sant’Angelo , the Pantheon, and countless more churches, palaces, and aqueducts dating back to the Roman Empire.
UniCamillus is a private institution located in Via di Sant’Alessandro 8, Rome. It is dedicated solely to health and medical sciences, and offers courses in Medicine but also Midwifery, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Biomedical Lab Techniques, and Radiology/Radiotherapy Techniques. It is named after Camillus de Lellis, who is the Saint Patron of the sick, nurses, and hospitals; he contributed to the development of the modern idea of an efficient healthcare system and hospital care, at the same time insisting that the patient must be put at the centre of the healing process.
UniCamillus’ research goals include tackling modern epidemics such as AIDS, as well as neglected diseases such as TB and malaria, that are reemerging in the globalized world.
Admission test (UCAT) – non-EU citizens
The University Clinical Aptitude Test or “UCAT Camillus” is a multiple-choice question test mandatory for everyone who wishes to apply to the UniCamillus medical program. The number of students allowed entry to this course is defined annually by the Italian Ministry of Health. No English-language certification is needed, the only requirement being a secondary school diploma with 12 years of schooling or equivalent. Students who are enrolled in the last year of secondary school will be allowed to take the test.
Booking the test is possible from the beginning of February until mid-April, and the school advises candidates to book as early as possible. Registration is carried out online through the UCAT website. Testing is completely in English and takes place in the month of April in dedicated test centers located in many countries across the world.
For non-EU applicants, the test consists of five sections. Verbal Reasoning (44 questions), Decision Making (29 questions), Quantitative Reasoning (36 questions), and Abstract Reasoning (55 questions) each confer between 300 and 900 points, for a total of 1200-3600 points. There are also 69 questions about Situational Judgement, the results of which are allocated to four groups, the first being the highest; this last section does not count towards the total score. The UCAT website has plenty of information regarding the specific sections, as well as practice tests and question banks.
Non-EU applicants have to take a test which is quite different from IMAT; it puts more emphasis on general skills, as opposed to the IMAT which is geared toward evaluating a standard European education.
The rankings for non-EU students are completely separate from EU students’. Ranking are published by the 15th of May.
Admission test – EU citizens
The test for EU applicants lasts 100 minutes and consists of 90 questions, of which 40 are logical reasoning, problem-solving, and reading comprehension, 30 basic science (biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics), and 20 about the humanitarian mission of the university. Each correct answer grants 1 point, each answer not given counts for 0 point, while each incorrect answer costs -0.25 points. Candidates scoring less than 30 points will not be admitted.
The test reserved to EU students is very much similar to IMAT, with just a few differences. On the IMAT there are 60 questions, of which 20 are about critical thinking, 2 about culture, 18 about biology, 12 about chemistry and 8 about physics and math, with 1.5 points per correct answer and -0.4 points subtracted in case of wrong answer. Furthermore, the IMAT takes place in September, while the UCAT Camillus is sat in April.
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Wake up to a cappuccino and cornetto (croissant) breakfast, learn how to make true carbonara from your Italian flatmates, cycle through mazes of historical buildings on cobblestone streets, and finally rest your weary bones in an open-air bar serving aperitivo at sunset. Medical studies often leave little free time, but there are several ways in Rome to make the most out of the free time you have. The nightlife is very vivid and the cultural events are numerous, so you can easily alternate your routine between clubs and art shows. The vast number of students and tourists provides the city with a lively turnover of young people, thus making it a very interesting place to live.
Commuters take advantage of public transport such as metro, trains, and buses, but as the population of Rome grows, more and more people are starting to bike the their way through the Italian capital.
Facilities and logistics
Given the recent founding of UniCamillus, you can expect modern and functional facilities. The classrooms and study halls are provided with all the necessary comforts. There are also spaces for practical activities, like for example the anatomy lab where you will find plenty of models that will enhance the learning experience.
Clinical practice is a basic part of a medical school curriculum, and as such UniCamillus has established partnerships with several hospitals and research facilities in Rome, all of which are accredited by the National Healthcare System. Even if practical activities will necessarily take place in Italian, learning the language will come naturally after living in close contact with the locals for a couple of years; furthermore, UniCamillus assigns tutors to the students who still feel uncomfortable with the language during practice.
The university is well connected by public transport.
Accommodation and financing
UniCamillus has an agreement with Unilogistics which provides students with brand new, fully furnished, and fully equipped apartments close to the university. You can find further information in this brochure. Beside this interesting option for accommodation, the city of Rome offers several flats and student housings.
Scholarships are provided to non-EU students according to merit, UCAT ranking, and independent evaluations; EU scholarships are instead provided by Laziodisu, the regional student welfare institution.
The goal of UniCamillus is to train physicians and health professionals who will address medical issues in developing countries, and therefore the faculty is proud to have students who wish to undertake a training period in the Global South. Even though no agreement has been signed yet, the university’s objective is to establish partnerships with humanitarian associations in order to give such experience to students. In the meantime, those who wish to work in other countries will be allowed to do so as part of their extracurricular activities.
The content on this page is sponsored by Saint Camillus International University of Health and Medical Sciences.
Emergency medicine physician, graduated in Pavia. After going through six tough years of med school, I know how valuable information and encouragement can be; so here I am, trying to provide a bit of both with my posts.
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