Faculty of Medicine - Historical Flashback | 2/19/2021 10:16:57 PM


     The Faculty of Medicine of the School of Health Sciences is the biggest of the 17 Faculties of the University of Thessalia, which has a relatively short history in the field of Higher Education in our country, while it is the newest of the 7 equivalent Schools and Faculties of Medicine in Greece.

       The Faculty of Medicine was founded in 1985 in Larissa. At first, it was established in the refurbished building of the former “Katsigra Clinic” and later also in two hired buildings. In 2008, new buildings (the University campus) for the Faculty of Medicine were erected on 100,000 m2 in the area of Mezourlo, which was granted by the Municipality of Larissa during the Mayoralty of A. Lamproulis. The new facilities of the University campus include the following laboratories established in March 2008: the Laboratories of Anatomy, Biology, Biochemistry, Physiology, Pharmacology, Immunology, and Pathology. The “Clinical Laboratories” of the Departments of Internal Medicine, Surgery, Mother & Child, and Neurology-Sense Organs are also located at the University Campus. The teaching rooms include 1 auditorium of 250 seats, 2 amphitheatres of 100 seats and 10 common teaching rooms. The laboratories of Histology, Hygiene – Epidemiology, Biomathematics and Medical Informatics are situated in the former “Katsigra clinic”. The newly- established library has been scheduled to function in Biopolis within 2011.

       The staffing procedure was very slow within the first 6 years, and it only speeded up from 1997 to 2003. In a period of 13 years, 124 Faculty members were employed, while during the last 7 years only 13 positions were occupied (in total 137). Nowadays, the Faculty of Medicine has 95 new active members while 42 more positions of different grades are under evaluation or nomination. The active members of the teaching staff meet 23% of the needs for teaching and research of the University of Thessalia. Thus, more positions have been requested for the increase in Academic Faculty members and administrative and technical staff.

     Funding is limited to 1/10 of the total budget of the Faculty of Medicine, and this is consonant with the general lack of adequate funding given to the public Higher Education in Greece. 

       The mission of the Faculty of Medicine is to educate and correspondingly provide Bachelor, Master’s and PhD degrees, and simultaneously contribute to the acquisition of new scientific knowledge through Research, as well as to the development of Speech and Arts.

       The University Hospital of Larissa is the “natural” environment for the teaching and clinical work of the Faculty of Medicine and it offers the potential for the development of important research activity of international resonance and recognition.

     It was completed in 1997 but started functional activity in September 1999. The establishment of the University departments and laboratories at the University Hospital of Larissa highly contributed to the improvement of Health Care services for about 1,500,000 inhabitants of Central Greece and the neighboring prefectures. Additionally, the clinical practice of medical students of 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th year of study takes place at the University Hospital Departments and Laboratories. Today, despite the lack in staff, more than 180,000 outpatients are examined at the Outpatient Clinic, about 35,000 patients are hospitalized, and approximately 10,000 surgical operations are carried out. Moreover, more than 9,000 chemotherapies are performed per year.

      The first students were enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine in the academic year 1990-1991. In 1996, the first course of the study program was completed with the graduation of the first physicians. For 13 years, the Faculty of Medicine has yielded 580 new graduate doctors to the medical workforce of Greece, most of whom have completed their specialties in Greece, in the European countries and the USA. Now they are employees of the Greek National Health System or work in the private sector. A number of graduates have also pursued University positions. Approximately 1,200 medical students have attended the undergraduate study programme. It is of great importance that it stands among the first candidate students’ preferences, being 4th in rank after the Medical Schools of the University of Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras.   

      Between 1998 and 2004 the Faculty founded, organized and put in operation the Programme of Elective Studies on “Medical Biochemistry” which was the first among similar departments in Greece to be funded by Business Programme of Initial Job Training with 1.4 million euros. Fifty-one of the students attended the program, 36 of whom have obtained their medical degree, equivalent to those conferred by the Institutes of Higher Education and Schools of Biochemistry. The Programme received a positive evaluation from peer-review faculty and graduates, while most of the graduates of the Programme of Elective Studies pursued a postgraduate or PhD degree or found jobs relevant to their first degree.

       Since 2004, the following postgraduate programs run at the Faculty of Medicine:

  1. “Clinical Applications of Molecular Medicine”, for exploitation of advances of Molecular Biology in clinical practice, of 2-year duration. 

  2. “Primary Health Care”, for specialization of graduates of the School of Health Sciences in the Primary Health Care, of four 6-month duration.

  3. “Applied Public Health and Environmental Hygiene”, with specialization in “Food Quality Assessment and Public Health” and in “Water Quality Assessment and Public Health”, of four 6-month duration.

  4. “Biology of Reproduction”, for specialization and practice on Biology of Reproduction, of two 6-month duration.

     In total, 256 postgraduate students have attended the Postgraduate Program Studies of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Thessalia, 166 of whom have already graduated with a Master’s degree.

      The members of the Faculty of Medicine have written and/or edited 12 scientific works while the research activity on Basic and Applied Research expands intensively. The research conducted at the Faculty shows permanent rise, which is depicted not only by the quantitative but mainly by the qualitative rates in studies that are published in international peer-review scientific articles that are evaluated through the blinded process. In 2006, the published studies were three-fold more than the publications of 2003 and four-fold more than those of 2002, approaching 50% of the total scientific publications produced at the University of Thessalia. The impact factor and the number of citations of the research work produced by the Faculty of Medicine are rising rapidly, rendering the Faculty recognizable in the international scientific community.

        The educational and research activity of the Faculty of Medicine includes supervision of Doctoral Theses. Up to now, 196 Doctors have completed their dissertations which have yielded 416 scientific articles published in international peer-review journals, contributing considerably to the international resonance of the Faculty of Medicine. Meanwhile, 386 doctoral theses are currently in progress on a wide range of topics pertaining to basic and applied research.