As the home of many reputable universities, Switzerland proves to be one of the best places to study Medicine. For one, it has beautiful sceneries, modern cities, and a high safety index – everything you could ever want in an educational destination.
With 4 national languages, there’s sure to be a university that is sure to cater to your proficiency. With many universities in the top global rankings, there’s a wealth of good medical school choices in Switzerland.
How long is Medical School in Switzerland?
As with most European nations, it takes 6 years to finish medical school in Switzerland. This includes a 3-year bachelor, to be followed by another 3 years of master’s education. After this, students can take the Swiss federal exam for physicians.
What are the admission requirements for Swiss medical schools?
Apart from a high school diploma, applicants need to complete pre-requisite courses. They also have to undergo aptitude exams, as the Swiss Conference on Higher Education levies restrictions (numerus clausus) on admissions.
Top Medical Schools in Switzerland
1. University of Basel Faculty of Medicine
Founded in 1460, the University of Basel is the oldest in the country – and the world. With its rich educational history, it continues to be one of the top 100 institutions in the world.
Keeping true to the university’s excellent tradition is the Faculty of Medicine. Here, physician hopefuls can apply for its Bachelor and Master in Human Medicine programs. Both are taught in German.
The Bachelor course focuses on the basic knowledge needed by the students to cater to their patients. Other competencies such as clinical practice skills, research, and good communication are also incorporated into the curriculum.
The Master’s program, on the other hand, is focused on comprehensive teaching and research. The knowledge drawn from the Bachelor’s course is further augmented by learning about diseases and pathologies.
After completing the 2-prong program, students can embark on private practice, hospital duties, medical research, or specialized teaching.
2. University of Bern Faculty of Medicine
Located in the de facto capital of Switzerland, the University of Bern is the third-biggest institution in the country. Founded in 1834, it is periodically included in the list of the best 150 universities in the world.
One of its earliest offerings is Medicine, which is now under the helm of the university’s Faculty of Medicine. As one of the largest medical schools in Switzerland, it is home to 2,100 students – as well as several other clinics and institutes.
The Bern curriculum, which follows the Bologna process and Medical Professions act, is categorized into 2. The first phase is the Bachelor of Medicine, a 6-semester course taught in German. It covers the study of the human body and organs, which are taught through lectures and other problem-based learning methods. This then culminates in the clinical skill courses, which include history taking, physical examinations, and diagnosing.
The German-taught master’s course, on the other hand, centers on clinical practice. Apart from completing internships, students also need to submit a thesis to graduate.
3. University of Geneva Faculty of Medicine
The University of Geneva is a public institution in the Romandy region. Founded by John Calvin in 1559, the former theological and law school is recognized as one of the top 100 universities in the world.
One of its many career offerings is the Bachelor and Master in Human Medicine program, which is taught in French. At this Swiss medical school. the 3-year Bachelor course is all about building the fundamental knowledge in physiology, molecular & cellular biology, organic chemistry, and physics. Add to that, students are taught practical skills through acquisition training and community immersions.
The Master’s program, on the other hand, is spent mostly in the University of Hospitals Geneva system. Theoretical and practical lessons are merged into clinical learning modules, giving the students necessary exposure to the areas of primary care, internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, and obstetrics & gynecology. Additionally, these medical interns get to engage in specialized disciplines, including radiology, pharmacology, pathology, and legal medicine.
4. University of Fribourg Faculty of Science and Medicine
Located in the La Sarine district, the University of Fribourg traces its roots back to 1582. Founded as the College Saint-Michel, it is the only institution to offer courses in both French and German.
The university’s Human Medicine program is categorized under the Faculty of Science and Medicine. Founded in 1896, it is one of the oldest departments within the university.
The university’s Bachelor program introduces the organ system and biology. It also covers an in-depth study of multiple systems, including the morphological and functional aspects of the body. Apart from learning pharmacology, pathology, and medical microbiology, students are taught basic and clinical techniques as well.
This degree is then followed with a Master in Human Medicine, an innovative program that emphasizes practical training. It is one of the most competitive programs in the country as it accepts only 40 applicants every year.
Lessons are usually taught through self-study, interactive teaching, and clinical immersion. Clinical clerkships, on the other hand, can be done in Switzerland or abroad. With these features, Fribourg helps its students become needs-oriented medical professionals.
5. University of Lausanne Faculty of Biology and Medicine
Located in Vaud, Romandy, the University of Lausanne is one of the top institutions in the country. Founded in 1537 as a school of theology, it was officially made a university in 1890.
The University of Lausanne is well-known for its life science courses, which are continuously ranked in the top 100 global listings. One of its top-rated programs is its Bachelor and Master in Medicine, a 6-year French program that follows the Bologna process.
At this medical school in Switzerland, it follows 3 themes, which are clinical reality, flexibility, and repetition.
The 3-year Bachelor in Medicine covers the foundations of biomedical and human sciences, as well as the concepts of illness and disease. Apart from the usual theoretical lessons, students are also taught the necessary skills for clinical practice.
Clinical education and hospital experience, on the other hand, are the cornerstones of the university’s Master in Medicine program. Apart from rotating in the University Hospital of Lausanne, students also get to spend their 10-month internships in the departments of surgery, internal medicine, psychiatry, and primary care.
6. University of Zurich Faculty of Medicine
The University of Zurich is the largest institution in Switzerland, being home to over 25,000 enrollees. It is recognized as one of the top universities in the country, the European Union, and the world. While it was officially established in 1833, its Faculty of Medicine can trace its beginnings back to the year 1525 and is considered one of the best medical schools in Switzerland.
One of the school’s more popular offerings is the Human Medicine program. This 6-year course, which is taught in German, covers the bachelor and master degrees needed to become a physician in Switzerland.
The bachelor’s program teaches the foundations of human medicine and the clinical sciences, all the while leaning towards evidence-based data. The master’s degree focuses on immersion in the fields of general medicine, as well as the specialized branches of family medicine, surgery, ambulatory medicine, palliative care, epidemiology, and pain treatment.
Apart from taking the Swiss federal exam, Zurich human medicine graduates may also proceed with the MD-Ph.D. program. It covers 3-4 years of studies and culminates with the successful submission of a scientific dissertation.
I hope that this article on the top medical schools in Switzerland was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Medical School Category!