Creating study places for medicine and strengthening the region

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In July 2021, Minister of Science Bernd Sibler gave a ceremonial speech as work began on the first teaching building Medizincampus Oberfranken. (Image: Klinkum Bayreuth)

Cooperation agreement signed for Medizincampus Oberfranken in the presence of Bavarian science minister, Bernd Sibler

An important milestone for Medizincampus Oberfranken, a campus for medical training in Bayreuth, has been reached: the four partners Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Klinikum Bayreuth GmbH and Universität Bayreuth have signed the cooperation agreement in the presence of Bavarian science minister, Bernd Sibler. In the coming summer semester, the first students will begin their clinical training as part of a groundbreaking study model at the Medizincampus Oberfranken in Bayreuth.

The new multifunctional building with facilities for teaching and studying is now complete and final work is already underway on the interior and furnishings before the first 50 medical students move from Erlangen to Bayreuth in April 2022, where they will continue their studies in Upper Franconia. With the Medizincampus Oberfranken the Free State of Bavaria has launched an innovative and exemplary project that will create additional places for studying medicine and address the shortage of doctors in the area, especially in Upper Franconia. It is hoped that many of the young doctors will remain loyal to the region after their studies.

The programme was launched in winter semester 2019/20. In the first two years, training in preclinical subjects mainly takes place at FAU, supported by Universitätsklinikum Erlangen. Some practical courses for introducing students to clinical fields and in particular the introduction to clinical medicine, already take place at Klinikum Bayreuth during this period. Around 300 students have now enrolled in the programme which has been made possible by a significant commitment of the Free State of Bavaria.

Bavarian science minister, Bernd Sibler, was present while the cooperation agreement for the model project was signed by the partners. The cooperation agreement determines the legal, personnel and financial framework for the project. Eight appointment procedures for clinical professorships at Medizincampus Oberfranken are currently underway in cooperation with FAU and Klinikum Bayreuth. The University of Bayreuth also intends to secure resources for the first appointments of research professorships related to medicine as soon as possible. With the new professorships, the partners hope to boost innovation in medical training and medical research.

Signing the agreement

Bavarian science minister Bernd Sibler is pleased that the first students will start their medical training in Upper Franconia soon: ‘Medizincampus Oberfranken is an exemplary model for training medical students. The cooperation between the four partners is an excellent opportunity to attract young doctors to the Upper Franconia region. It also means that we can address a regional shortage of doctors, increase the number of study places in Bavaria for medical students and strengthen two university locations. From next spring, Klinikum Bayreuth will also benefit from highly committed students who are eager to learn and will contribute to the work of the hospital. I would like to warmly thank everyone involved that has made such pioneering and exemplary medical training possible.’

Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, President of FAU: ‘We are glad that we have found such good common ground for this ambitious project. Medizincampus Oberfranken will be a blueprint throughout Germany for rolling out a demanding medical degree beyond metropolitan areas. This makes the dream of becoming a doctor a reality for significantly more young people – and patients in the region benefit from better care.’

Prof. Dr. Markus Neurath, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the FAU: ‘With the Medizincampus Oberfranken and the new degree programme in medicine at FAU, the young doctors of tomorrow will benefit from an efficient network encompassing FAU and Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Klinikum Bayreuth, the University of Bayreuth and regional teaching and research practices. This will pave the way for outstanding medical training throughout Upper Franconia.’

Prof. Dr. Hans-Rudolf Raab, Medical Director of Klinikum Bayreuth: ‘Bavaria is setting standards as a pioneer in securing medical care, especially outside of metropolitan areas. We are delighted with the progress that the innovative MCO project makes in allowing students to study where they will become doctors. Bayreuth seemed an ideal location for such an ambitious project. Bayreuth is also the city of Richard Wagner. His visionary and revolutionary spirit can guide our inspiration. That is why we chose Wagner’s maxim: ‘Children, create something new’ to accompany the ceremony marking the signing of the cooperation agreement for Medizincampus Oberfranken by the partners from Erlangen and Bayreuth.’

Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible, President of the University of Bayreuth: ‘An important stage has been reached: Through intensive discussions, we have agreed on the establishment and operation of Medizincampus Oberfranken. The University of Bayreuth will contribute to making Bayreuth an attractive location for FAU medical students and as an example through Germany. With our research professorships, which hopefully will soon be secured in the Bavarian budget, we are creating an attractive research environment for the training of tomorrow’s doctors.’

Prof. Dr. mult. Eckhard Nagel, Director of the Institute for Medical Management and Health Sciences of the University of Bayreuth: ‘Our efforts have been rewarded. Behind us lies a long and at times difficult process of planning and negotiating the best course of action with many stakeholders, whom we must not forget to acknowledge today. Looking ahead opens up excellent prospects: fit for the current boom in biotechnology, attractive in interdisciplinary research and teaching, secure in the future of regional highly qualified healthcare.’

Facts and figures on Medizincampus Oberfranken

2019: Following the decision of the Bavarian state government to establish Medizincampus Oberfranken in February, the first students of FAU’s new degree programme ‘Medicine Erlangen-Nuremberg/Bayreuth’ begin their studies in winter semester 2019/20 in Erlangen.

2022: After the first two years of study in Erlangen, the first students start their clinical training in Bayreuth in summer semester 2022.

2026: In five years, Medizincampus Oberfranken is expected to reach full capacity. Around 600 prospective doctors will then be enrolled in the FAU degree programme ‘Medicine Erlangen-Nuremberg/Bayreuth’ and around 400 will be studying in Upper Franconia at the same time.

36 million euros: The total annual costs for Medizincampus Oberfranken including the professorships at the University of Bayreuth

Further information

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schüttler
Vice Dean Medizincampus Oberfranken
Phone: +49 9131 85 33676
juergen.schuettler@kfa.imed.uni-erlangen.de.

Prof. Dr. Hans-Rudolf Raab
Medical director
Klinikum Bayreuth GmbH
Phone: +49 921 4003000
med.gf@klinikum-bayreuth.de