SUMMA (Selective Utrecht Medical Master)
During this four-year master program, students with a Bachelor’s degree in biomedical- or life sciences are trained in the field of clinical medicine and research. Thus, aside from medical knowledge and clinical practice, the SUMMA curriculum includes a substantial research component. Once students have graduated, they meet the requirements for registration as a medical doctor, and are also formally qualified as a researcher.
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SUMMA’s research component finds itself within a climate of rigorous research and international cooperation. This provides SUMMA students with many opportunities.
The medical faculty (the UMC Utrecht) is part of the “Utrecht Life Sciences”, a prestigious international institute in the field of (bio-)medical research. In addition, the UMC Utrecht works closely with the faculties of Veterinary Medicine and other scientific disciplines (Utrecht University & the Hubrecht’s Institute).
The research within the UMC Utrecht is broadly characterized by the following themes:
RESEARCH IS KEY
The research component within SUMMA is important in order for students to be able to keep up with advances in medicine, critically evaluate these advances as well as to actively contribute to them.
The idea is that students gain an affinity for translating observations and questions that are sparked by patient care, into research projects, both clinical and fundamental. The findings of the research projects can, in turn, be targeted at clinical application.
In the fourth year of the SUMMA curriculum students perform their own 26-week research project, often abroad.
PATIENTS ARE KEY
SUMMA students come into contact with patients immediately upon beginning their degree. This is one of SUMMA’s unique characteristics and was introduced in the belief that students can gain a great deal of knowledge from real-life patient cases.
The first two years of SUMMA are focused on acquiring the relevant medical knowledge as well as training students to gather information about a patient, analyze it accordingly, reach a diagnosis and treatment plan, give advice and discuss the prognosis.
The third year students spend in the teaching hospital doing their clerkships.
In the fourth year, students are given a more independent role that comes with greater responsibilities in an extended, 3-month clerkship of their own choice.
STUDENTS ARE KEY
SUMMA is a small-scale program in which students and teachers know each other well. Both parties are extremely motivated and committed.
The fact that each student has a unique educational background and can in turn contribute specific knowledge is of added value during group discussions. Furthermore, students have a personal coach - a preceptor – that helps them define goals for their professional future.
In other words, preceptors serve as a touchstone, guiding students throughout their studies and in the choices they have to make.