Medical studies in English in UniCamillus, Rome
The UniCamillus Medicine & Surgery course for international medical students saw its birth 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 the Developing Countries. Its mission is to form doctors that will be conscious about the issues of global health; graduates will be able to practice in the whole EU and may be acknowledged all around the world, their formation giving special importance to diseases afflicting the Southern hemisphere.
Classes are mandatory and may take place in the mornings and afternoons, but the students will be prompted to study also 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 Paediatrics are spread across several semesters. A few hours are allocated to clinical practice already in the first two years, and proper rotations in a brand new will start in the third year.
Exams are sat in English and may be either written or oral tests, or both; official exam sessions take place 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 experiences in EU countries, in the US or in 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 millennial history is kept alive by the hundreds of monuments and 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 Sant’Angelo Castle, the Pantheon, and countless more churches, palaces and acqueducts 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, the nurses, and the 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 that of AIDS and also of neglected diseases such as TB and Malaria that are now regaining terrain in the globalized world.
Admission Test (UCAT) – Non-EU citizens
The University Clinical Aptitude Test or “UCAT Camillus” is a multiple-choice question test that must be sat mandatorily by everyone who wishes to apply to the UniCamillus medical program. The number of students allowed entry to this course is in fact 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, but it is advised to book as early as possible. Registration is carried out online through the UCAT website. Registration opens: February 1st, 2019 at 9am and closes: April 23rd, 2019 at 5pm. Testing will be delivered completely in English and will take place in the month of April (Last testing date: 30 April 2019) in dedicated test centers located in many countries across the world. Students will therefore be able to sit the test in their country.
For non-EU applicants, the test consists of five sections: Verbal Reasoning (44 questions), Decision Making (29 questions), Quantitative Reasoning (36 questions), Abstract Reasoning (55 questions); these four sections 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 bands, 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; this tends to help them in facing a test which values more their general skills, as opposed to the IMAT which is traditionally meant for an European student’s education.
The rankings for Non-EU students are completely separated from the one of EU students. Ranking will be published by the 15th of May.
Admission Test – EU citizens
Registration for the admission test of EU students will be possible from January 9th, 2019 to April 18th, 2019. Testing will be delivered completely in English and will take place on April 27th, 2019 in Rome. The publication of the final ranking will be published by May 7th 2019. The rankings for this category, and the seats available, will be completely separate from the one of non-EU students.
The test for EU applicants will last 100 minutes and will consist of 90 questions, of which 40 are about logical reasoning, problem-solving and reading comprehension, 30 questions on 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: in IMAT there are 60 questions, of which 20 about critical thinking, 2 of culture, 18 of biology, 12 of chemistry and 8 of 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. Medicine often leaves little free time, but there are several ways in Rome to make the most out of it.
The nightlife is very vivid and the cultural events are numerous, so you may easily alternate your routine between clubs and art displays. 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.
Commutes 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 institution 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 adhibited to 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 founding part of a medical school curriculum, and as such the 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 this language will come naturally after living in close contact with the locals for a couple of years; furthermore, UniCamillus will assign 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 stipulated an agreement with Unilogistics in order to provide students with brand new, fully furnished and fully equipped apartments close to the university. You can find further information on their brochure. Beside this interesting opportunity, the city of Rome offers several flats and student housings.
Scolarships are provided to non-EU students according to merit, UCAT ranking and independent evaluations; EU scolarships are instead provided by Laziodisu, the regional student welfare institution.
The goal of UniCamillus is to train physicians and health professionals who will address the medical issues of developing countries, and therefore the faculty is proud to have students who wish to undertake a training period in the Southern part of the world. Even though no agreement has been signed yet, the University’s objective is to establish partnerships with humanitarian associations in order to grant such experiences to its students. In the meantime, those who wish to practice in other countries will be allowed to do so as part of their extracurricular activities.
Recently graduated in Pavia and about to start the doctor life and career. 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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