Cardiopulmonary Teaching

The departments of the Heart Center Göttingen provide comprehensive medical and scientific training for young academics. For medical students, the interdisciplinary and case-oriented curriculum of “Cardiopulmonary Teaching” provides in-depth insight into the area of the cardiopulmonary organ systems. Prospective basic scientists can participate in the degree programs “Cardiovascular science” or “Molecular Medicine”. Completion of a PhD is also possible in several programs.

Cardiopulmonary Teaching

In the winter semester 2001/2002, a six-week course entitled “Cardiopulmonary Teaching” was established. Medical students in their third clinical semester participate here in a reformed interdisciplinary and case-oriented curriculum in the area of cardiopulmonary organ systems. The goal of this curriculum is to optimize teaching resources and improve the education of medical students by more teaching in small groups and practice-oriented teaching with more direct contact to patients.The curriculum is comprised of five teaching components and based on an interdisciplinary lecture. Students learn the basics of patient examination directly during bedside teaching. To gain more in-depth knowledge of the subject, they work in tutorials in which patient cases are presented and discussed. A further curriculum component is regular training using the simulator “Harvey” at the cardiovascular training center of the medical faculty. This life-sized patient simulation can imitate 27 different cardiovascular diseases as well as 60 different heart sounds and cardiac murmurs.  In addition, at the simulation center of the Clinic for Anesthesiology, medical students can practice intubation, defibrillation and other techniques used in emergency situations. With self-made short videos on topics such as ECG, heart catheter, heart surgery and cardioversions as well as through observing live televised heart catheter procedures or heart surgery, students are able to learn theory and practice in a highly informative manner. The Cardiopulmonary Teaching is also supplemented by the online module “KPL interactive” which is geared towards seventh semester students. Here they learn to apply their knowledge on virtual patients. In October of 2009, the Student Training Center for Medical Practice and Simulation (STÄPS) was established to provide students the opportunity to acquire skills under guidance and practice them intensively.

Cardiovascular Science and Molecular Medicine

At the Heart Center, not only medical students but also basic scientists are trained for research. For the latter, the programs “Cardiovascular Science” and “Molecular Medicine” of the University Medical Center Göttingen were established. The “Cardiovascular Science” program, established in the winter semester 2015/2016, aims to train a new generation of natural scientists especially for the challenges of cardiovascular research. There are 25 openings for new students each year. The students come from all over the world to Göttingen to take advantage of this unique program.

PhD programs

If physicians or basic scientists would like to complete their PhD at the Heart Center Göttingen, they can choose from several PhD programs, with different degrees. The International Graduate College 1816 (IRTG 1816), which is offered in collaboration with the prestigious King’s College in London, is of particular interest. In this program, scientists complete work for their PhDs in both Göttingen and London. The doctoral degree is then awarded by both the University Medical Center Göttingen and King’s College in London.

Educational objectives

Teaching activities are documented by the Faculty catalog of educational objectives. Many educational objectives of modules 3.1 to 5.3 focus on factual knowledge on various diseases.

At the same time, a large number of educational objectives ascribed to the cardio-respiratory module are concerned with practical skills including patient examination techniques and  interpretation of the electrocardiogram (ECG).

Small-group tutorials provide an opportunity to discuss diagnostic questions and therapeutic options and, thus, to improve clinical reasoning skills.

Teaching modes

Since the course conception many teaching contents have been developed which consider practice-oriented education objectives.

Through daily 2-hour main lectures and 1-hour seminars the problem of the week (e.g. coronary vessel disease and cardiac infarction, heart failure, cardiac valve problems, arrhythmias, pulmonary diseases) are described and discussed.

Small-group tutorials are facilitated by expert clinicians, and students are invited to deepen their knowledge through case discussions and examination of patients.

The cardiovascular apparatus course introduces common state-of-the-art examination methods (ergometry, echocardiography, spirometry, etc.) including practical demonstration and application. The auscultation training includes the simulator Harvey® and the core of daily clinical examination. Harvey® is a life-sized patient simulator which is able to imitate 27 different cardiovascular diseases and 60 different heart sounds and cardiac murmurs.

Bedside teaching aims at integrating factual knowledge and practical skills. Each student spends one week on a particular ward. Students are trained to take a focused history, to perform a physical examination and to discuss the clinical management of individual patients. Each group of 8 students is being closely supervised by a clinical teacher.

The curriculum is further complemented by optional training (guided self-study) at the cardiovascular training center (Harvey®, see above) and the student training center for medical practice and simulation (STÄPS = Studentisches Trainingszentrum Ärztlicher Praxis und Simulation).