7 Best Medical Schools in Sweden

Swedish medical education – and the system as a whole – is unlike any other. Not only is it mostly free, but it allows you to work on your pursuits – without minding your grades that much. Due to this unconventional nature of schooling, more and more students are setting their sights on Sweden. If you’re one of these eager hopefuls, then you’ll definitely enjoy the challenge of the top medical schools in Sweden.

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How long will it take me to finish Medicine in Sweden?

Medical school runs for 5 ½ years or 11 semesters, which is shorter compared to most European programs. It is an undergraduate degree, so you can take it fresh out of high school.

What are the requirements for applying to a Swedish medical school?

You need to have a high school diploma, with completed courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics. Foreign applicants need to demonstrate proficiency in both Swedish and English as well.

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Best Medical Schools in Sweden

1. Karolinska Institutet

Karolinska Institute, or the Royal Caroline Institute in English, is a medical university based in Stockholm, Sweden. As the top-ranked medical school in Sweden, it is considered one of the best medical schools in the world.

It runs a Swedish-taught Medicine program, which only accepts a maximum of 160 applicants a year. The 330-credit course is all about molding physicians with medical knowledge, scientific thinking, good communication skills, and of course, self-awareness.

The program follows 7 chronological themes, namely the healthy person, the sick individual, clinical medicine, surgery, neurosensory/psychiatric medicine, reproduction & development, and societal/environmental health.

Semesters 1-6 cover basic education, including the introduction to the medical profession, basic science competencies, and pathobiology. Semesters 1-7 feature advanced courses, culminated by an integrated final exam.

2. Uppsala University Faculty of Medicine

Founded in 1477, Uppsala University is the oldest university still in operation in Sweden – and the Nordic region. True to its motto of “Gratiae veritas naturae”, the university specializes in the sciences, one of which is Medicine. As such, the program does not only focus on the profession – there is an emphasis on research as well.

Semesters 1 to 4 cover introductory medical courses, including clinical anatomy, neurobiology, and professional development, to name a few. Semesters 5 to 9 engage in clinical medicine education, while semester 10 focuses on independent work.

For the last term, students are exposed to real-life cases in Uppsala Hospital. They are deployed to the areas of emergency care, occupational/environmental medicine, and family medicine.

3. Lund University Faculty of Medicine

Established in 1666, Lund University is one of the oldest medical school in Sweden – and the entire continent. While the official founding only comes in the 17th century, it can trace its roots back to 1425 as the Franciscan studium generale.

Based in the southern region of Scania, the university offers a Swedish-taught Medicine program. It runs for 11 semesters, the first 5 of which are delivered through problem-based learning. Apart from lectures, students engage in group exercises, case studies, and clinical practice.

Semesters 6 to 9 focus on the foundational knowledge of diagnostics, and how they are applied in the treatment of disease. Semester 10 centers of research projects while the last semester is devoted to clinical rotations and elective courses. Such immersions are done at hospitals in Helsingborg, Lund, Malmö, and Skåne.

4. Gothenburg University – Sahlgrenska Academy Institute of Medicine

Gothenburg University is a public educational institution located on Sweden’s west coast. Established in 1891, it is one of the biggest universities in Nordic Europe. It offers a Swedish-taught medicine program under the Sahlgrenska Academy.

At this Swedish medical school, the first part of the course deals with the theoretical knowledge of the human body. Subjects taught in this phase include anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, histology, cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, and developmental biochemistry.

The second phase, on the other hand, focuses on the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. Courses are centered on the disciplines of internal medicine, surgery, neurology, psychiatry, public health, obstetrics, dermatology, and immunology, among many others.

The lessons are taught through lectures, group exercises, laboratory sessions, seminars, and research. Clinical rotations are done at hospitals in the region of Västra Götaland.

5. Umeå University Faculty of Medicine

Next on our list of top medical schools in Sweden is Umeå University, a public research university based in mid-northern Sweden. Founded in 1965, it plays home to about 31,000 students and 4,200 academic members.

The Faculty of Medicine, which is home to 13 departments and 7 research institutes, governs the university’s medical program. It follows a U2007 syllabus that integrates the techniques of case methodology, traditional teaching, and problem-based learning.

Year 1 covers the introduction to medical education, followed by organ systems, disease theory, and diagnostics (year 2). Clinical propaedeutics take center stage in year 3. Clinical courses 4 to 6 are taken from years 3 to 5.

Clinical education is not only completed in Umeå, as students get assigned to östersund, Sundsvall, and Luleå/Sunderbyn as well. With the university’s study abroad program, the same students are given a chance to take courses in other European countries.

6. Linköping University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Linköping University is one of the larger public institutions in southern Sweden. It can trace its roots back to 1969, though it was only granted full university status in 1975. Its Faculty of Medicine, now the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, is one of its first 3 departments.

The school offers a unique medical program guided by a holistic perspective. It follows the problem-based learning method, which emphasizes the student’s participation in his/her own learning. As for the professor, he/she provides feedback that can help contribute to the knowledge of the learner.

The program is divided into 3 phases, with the first one focusing on health and biological function. It covers courses in health, ethics, and learning. Phase 2 deals with health and disease, which tackle body functions, and the mechanisms of disease. The last cycle centers on patient and prevention, which are mainly about clinical rotations in health centers and hospitals.

7. Örebro University School of Medical Sciences

Our final candidate in the list of best medical schools in Sweden is Örebro University, one of the younger educational institutions in Sweden. It was founded in 1977 as a college before it was made a full-fledged university in 1999.

Its revolutionary medical program is administered by the School of Medical Sciences. First offered in 2011, it offers a fundamentally scientific approach to medical education.

The program, which is taught in Swedish, is divided into 4 phases. The first is organ, cell, and molecule, which covers 2 courses. These emphasize biomedicine and the introduction to common clinical issues.

Phase 2, which is health and disease, lasts from semesters 3 to 6. Working on foundational knowledge, this cycle delves more on illnesses and diseases. After this, the student has finished the bachelor’s degree part of the program.

Semesters 7 to 9 cover Phase 3, which is about diagnostics, therapy, and prevention. Lectures are delivered through problem-based learning and case scenarios.

The last phase is called medical deepening. This includes the research-intensive 10th semester, followed by clinical training for the last semester.


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