The Faculty of Medicine remains a thriving and modern part of the Medical College. As one of its biggest units, the Faculty of Medicine prides itself on excellence in teaching and a research staff composed of 150 professors and postdoctoral degree holders and over 450 graduates of doctoral studies.
More than 200 physicians and 60 dentists graduate from the University yearly. Also, in the past 14 years, 421 young foreigners from all continents have received their medical education at the School of Medicine in English. The Faculty of Medicine cooperates with numerous European and American universities, currently putting into effect many bilateral agreements with institutions from such countries as Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, and USA. Also carried out are a number of research projects financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Ministry of Health, and European Union.
All units of the Faculty of Medicine continue to play an active role in EU Framework Programs. Dozens of projects continue to be carried out as part of the 6th Framework Program. Also, projects organized under the 7th Framework program have brought about a number of spectacular successes. These projects consistently receive positive evaluations from European Commission audits. Furthermore, the Faculty of Medicine continues to participate in a large number of medical-research projects organized through international cooperation and didactic programs.
A supplement to the medical curriculum established by the Ministry of Health stresses that subjects falling outside the scope of compulsory courses, yet reflecting the needs of modern medicine, should also be included. These subjects include deontology, geriatrics, palliative medicine, evidence based medicine, and other classes offered as electives. It is worth noting that, already in their first year, students at the Faculty of Medicine participate in courses on clinical propedeutics and integrated teaching, combining elements of basic and clinical sciences. At present, studies are taking place examining the potential of launching distance teaching with the use of internet platforms. Students may also choose to cultivate their individual interests within "Scientific Circles" organized by the Student Scientific Society. Each year a few dozen students study abroad as part of the Erasmus program and bilateral agreements with other universities. The dynamic International Federation of Medical Students' Associations also organizes summer clerkships at university hospitals throughout Europe. Students and academics have at their disposal a well equipped medical library, stocked with international scientific journals, magazines, CD data bases, and access to the best European web portals.
Didactic bases for clinical teaching include the University Hospital, University Children's Hospital, University Hospital of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation in Zakopane, University Clinic of Dentistry, and select clinical departments located in Krakow's J. Dietl, John Paul II, G. Narutowicz, and L. Rydygier Hospitals. In total, students have over 2000 hospitals beds available for didactic exercises. At present, building is underway of a modern university hospital, the completion of which is planned for 2012.
Doctoral studies constitute an important sphere of activity at the Faculty of Medicine. The total number of doctoral students presently totals 190. Each year, 40-50 new doctoral students are admitted, comprised of those interested in scientific research as well as graduates of medicine and other related sciences. Approximately 90 students graduate yearly from the Faculty of Medicine with a doctoral degree.
For the past 640 years, the Faculty of Medicine has cultivated a tradition of uninterrupted research and experience in pre- and post-graduate education. This knowledge will undoubtedly help the Faculty to meet 21st century challenges. Research undertaken at the Faculty is unique and consistent with worldwide trends in biomedical sciences, including such fields as genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, immunology, microbiology, pharmacology, experimental physiology, gastroenterolo-gy, and molecular pathology. Clinical disciplines being the focus of research activities include cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, hematology, nephrology, treatment of diabetes, endocrinology, neurology, oncology, cardiosurgery, non-invasive and surgical gastroenterology, transplantology, and pediatrics. Other disciplines of applied medicine are also the subject of continuous scientific research, with their representatives already noting major scientific achievements.
The level of research carried out by the Faculty of Medicine is high, evidenced by the number of publications appearing in peer-reviewed journals. Employees of the Faculty publish their works in some of the best international scientific journals (e.g., Nature, New England Journal of Medicine). In 2007, the number of the publications in journals included on the Philadelphia list reached 250 and the number of quotations reached 4065. This serves as a testament to the high level of research carried out by the Faculty, earning it a leading position among Polish medical schools.
The Faculty places high in domestic rankings, which take into consideration quality of didactic and research work. Each year, scholars at the Faculty of Medicine earn major domestic and foreign awards. This high level of scholarship leads to Faculty staff being named as members of the Polish Academy of Science (Polska Akademia Nauk) and Polish Academy of Abilities (Polska Akademia Umiejętności).