9 Best Medical Schools in Belgium

Belgium is a beautiful European nation known for its low-cost living and high quality of life. With 3 official languages, much of the country is well-versed with English as well. As a multicultural hotspot that’s easily accessible to the rest of the EU, Belgium remains an attractive destination for many students.

If you are searching for a peaceful country with top-tier medical education, then you should set your sights on Belgium. With its highly-ranked universities and state-of-the-art facilities, Belgium’s medical schools can help you become the best doctor you could be.

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How many years does it take to finish Medicine in Belgium?

Compared to most European countries, it only takes 6 years to finish medical schooling in Belgium. This covers a 3-year Bachelor’s program, followed by a 3-year Master’s in Medicine course. A “Master after Master” degree is necessary for students who wish to become general practitioners, specialists, or researchers.

What are the requirements for Medical Schools in Belgium?

Apart from having a high school diploma, applicants also need to pass the Belgian Ministry of Education entrance exam. Additionally, students need to be proficient in either Flemish, Dutch, or German, depending on the university’s language.

Top Medical Schools in Belgium

1. Université Catholique de Louvain Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

The Université Catholique de Louvain, also known as UCLouvain, is a free university based in Belgium. Founded in 1425 as the Universitas Lovaniensis, it is known as the first university in Belgium and the lowlands.

Under its Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry is the Bachelor of Medicine course, which covers a 3-year bachelor program followed by a 3-year master’s degree. Université Catholique de Louvain Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry is considered the best medical school in Belgium. The subjects are usually taught through lectures, small group discussions, laboratory work, and seminars. As it is taught in French, applicants need to possess proof of French language proficiency.

The first cycle covers biology, chemistry, histology, epidemiology, and public health, while the second phase delves with the different body systems. As for the third unit, students need to engage in the functional sciences, disease, humanities, research, and a summer internship.

After graduating, students can pursue a Master’s degree in General Medicine (3 years) or any other specialty (4-7 years).

2. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Faculty of Medicine

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, also known as KU Leuven, is a free Catholic university based in Flanders. It is the largest institution in the country, being home to 58,000 students as of date.

As one of the top 100 universities in the world, KU Leuven is one of the many universities that offer a Medicine program. As with other schools, it is comprised of a 3-year Bachelor and a 3-year Master’s course.

The Bachelor’s degree covers 4 phases, namely foundations of medicine, scientific education, skills & communication, and being a doctor in society. The master’s program, on the other hand, is all about pathologies. Students are taught through case-based education and integrated problem solving clinical reasoning.

The university follows the CanMEDS reference for training. With the help of the program, KU Leuven students are expected to fulfill 7 roles: that of a medical expert, collaborator, health promoter, communicator, manager, scientist, and professional.

The Bachelor’s program is available on the Gasthuisberg and Kulak Kortrijk campuses. However, only the Leuven campus offers the Master of Medicine degree. Both programs are solely taught in Dutch.

3. University of Liège Faculty of Medicine

The University of Liège is a French-speaking medical school in Belgium. Established in 1817, it is the home of almost 25,000 students – with about 4,800 coming from various parts of the globe.

Its 11 departments include the Faculty of Medicine, which educates its students through the problem-based learning method. The first block includes courses in general biology, chemistry, first aid, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, and histology, to name a few. Block 2, on the other hand, covers subjects in neurophysiology, immunology, virology, microbiology, pathological anatomy, and special medical genetics.

The last block includes internships in over 70 institutions across the globe. At the same time, it features courses in radiobiology, medical psychology, psychopathology, pharmacology, microbiology, evidence-based medicine, and oncology, to name a few.

4. Ghent University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Ghent University is a public educational institution based in East Flanders, Belgium. As the first Dutch-speaking university in the country, it maintains true to its tradition. After all, its Bachelor of Medicine degree is only taught in the said language.

The 180-credit program, which is under the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, is a course designed to enhance the knowledge, attitude, and skills of future physicians. The school puts focus on developing students who have patient-oriented mindsets, critical-scientific thinking, and society-centered attitudes.

Apart from core medical courses, Ghent University students are also taught expert communication skills. After all, this medical school in Belgium believes that lessons in proper conveyance and topic writing can make them become better communicators.

5. Université Libre de Bruxelles Faculty of Medicine

The Université libre de Bruxelles is an independent university based in the Belgian capital. It traces its roots back to the Free University of Brussels before the French-speaking institution split with the Dutch-speaking Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

The university offers its Medicine program through the Faculty of Medicine. Its Bachelor of Medicine deals with the basics of physics, biology, and chemistry, as well as the sciences of anatomy, histology, physiology, genetics, and embryology, to name a few.

The Master of Medicine course, on the other hand, is about developing doctors who are honest, competent, rigorous, and humanistic. These are done through various teaching methods, including bedside lectures, seminars, and internships. Students can also complete their rotations overseas via the Erasmus program.

6. Vrije Universiteit Brussel Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is a Dutch and English-speaking institution based in the Brussels capital region. It was part of the Free University of Brussels before it branched out in 1970. To date, it is listed as one of the top 200 universities in the world.

The school has 8 faculties, one of which is the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy. Here, students can apply for the Dutch-taught Medicine program. The combined Bachelor and Master courses follow 4 learning lines, which are medical knowledge, scientific data, society and health, and internships.

After graduating from this joint degree, VUB students can continue with the master-after-master program. The school offers specializations in the fields of hospital hygiene, youth health care, specialist medicine, occupational medicine, general practice, and disaster medicine.

7. University of Antwerp Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Based in the Flemish Region, the University of Antwerp is currently the third-largest medical school in Belgium. It traces its roots back to 1852, although it was only formally established as a university in the 1960s.

The university has 9 departments. One of these is the Faculty of Medicine and the Health Sciences. It offers a Bachelor of Medicine degree, which is taught in the Dutch language. It features 5 learning lines – knowledge, integration, doctor & society, clinical, and scientific.

After completing this 3-year degree, students can proceed with the Master of Medicine program. Courses are taught through small groups, with students guided by expert professors. Upon completing this degree, students can work as general practitioners or specialize in any of Antwerp’s modern hospitals.

Other lesser-known tracks for specialization include Social Medicine and medical research.

8. University of Namur Faculty of Medicine

The University of Namur is a Jesuit school based in Wallonia, Belgium. Founded in 1831, it has 6 faculties, including the Faculty of Medicine.

Taught in French, the university’s Bachelor of Medicine degree covers the fundamental sciences, including its morphological and functional branches. As students are taught the pathological processes, they are slowly introduced to the clinical setting. With exposure to real-life cases, students get to improve their aptitude for diagnosis and treatment.

The university also delivers psychology courses that help enhance the student’s communication skills, as well as his/her rapport with the patients. Subjects in humanities are taught as well, as they can help improve the student’s ethical judgments during his/her practice.

The Faculty of Medicine’s multi-disciplinary courses are taught through conventional lectures, laboratory sessions, experiments, and small-group discussions, to name a few.

9. Hasselt University Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

The final university in our list of top medical schools in Belgium is Hasselt University Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences. Founded in 1971, Hasselt University is one of Belgium’s younger universities. Despite this, the Flemish university is recognized as one of the best universities under 50 years of age.

Its Faculty of Medicine remains as one of its oldest departments. Apart from offering a course in Biomedical Sciences, it has a competitive Medicine program in Dutch as well. To be admitted, you need to submit all the requirements – as well as pass the mandated Medical Entrance Exam.

Throughout schooling, medical cases are presented in various ways for maximum learning. To test the degree of retention, students need to demonstrate their knowledge through quartile and permanent knowledge tests.

The first and second years also include an observational internship, while the third year features a full-fledged hospital internship. Students have the choice to spend their internships abroad in countries such as India or Myanmar.

 

I hope that this article on the top medical schools in Belgium was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Medical School Category!