View Full Version : Gdańsk or Masaryk (Brno, Czech Rep.)

07-07-2011, 07:45 AM
Hello everybody.
I'm posting this because I hope that there is somebody that could help me make a decision...
I applied to the Medical University of Gdańsk, I also applied and got accepted to the Masaryk Univ. in Brno.To be honest with you I didn't hear any positive opinions about the English Division in Gdańsk.. One of the woman that teaches at both Polish and English Divisions said that the English-speaking students get a lower level of education.. Well, in my opinion it's the teaching staff's fault, not the students'. She said that the students don't use their textbooks to prepare themselves for the tests because the level of difficulty of the exams doesn't require the knowledge from the textbooks. I got really worried after hearing that because I consider studying either in Gdańsk or in Brno. I hope that it's different in Brno. So my question to you is do you agree with what the teacher said? Do you have any friends that study at the Polish Division and could you compare the education you both get? Do you know anyone or anything about the education in Czech Rep. esp. at Masaryk (brno)?

07-07-2011, 11:04 AM
I am actually very surprised that a member of staff has said such a thing. Especially when it comes to the major subjects that we study, ALL the material is taken straight from the textbooks. Anatomy and Histology from first year, Biochemistry, Physiology and Neuroscience from 2nd year, Pharmacology, Pathophysiology Cardiology, Psychiatry all have questions that are straight from the textbook.I am currently studying for anatomy finals. It requires to know 3 books, pretty much inside out BRS Anatomy, Clinical Anatomy, and the Netters Atlas of Anatomy. Its an outright lie that the level of knowledge required for examinations is lower. They are TOUGH. I came here with the idea that it'll probably be a bit easier than in England. I was wrong. They are tough, maybe even tougher than what they are over here. You really have to be organised and continuously study because as students your knowledge is constantly tested in the form of credits (e.g. Anatomy- first year) and weekly class tests (e.g.Embryology and Histology in first year).Its definitely not a place for the faint hearted. You really need to have a very good knowledge to pass the exams- the pass mark being 60%. It was quite a culture shock, because I was used to an English system of studying where you have time to develop yourself as a person as well study.

There are a fair amount of students who do drop after the first couple of years - not because they're stupid. Some go because they get into universities in their home countries, and some because they simply cannot hack it or have chosen a different career path. The system we have back in our home countries will always be a lot easier because they give us the basic education we need to graduate as a doctor - everything else is left to when you do postgraduate exams. In Gdansk its quite different. Every subject is taught as if you're doing a PhD in it. Again, this is the same as Polish Division students. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining as I feel I'll be better equipped and more experienced once I graduate and do postgrad exams. Its all about the bigger picture I'd say .

There are of course minor subjects that require only the use of lectures (because the lectures are well done for those subjects) and past papers.The standard of education is not lower compared to the Polish division. We in fact get exactly the same tests that the polish students get, only ours are translated to english. We have exchanged alot of the tests, throughout the years, so its become apparent that the level of education is the same. The difference being that we as English Division students pay fees, and most polish students don't. We do all the same subjects, at pretty much the same time. The only difference for exams in Polish and English Division in first year is that they do Neuroscience along with anatomy, where as though for us, EU regulations stipulate that we MUST have a seperate Neuroscience course, which we do in 2nd year.

You have to be careful with some of the teachers in Gdansk. I'd take what they say with a pinch of salt. There are many that don't like English Division students and see us as "paying to get a degree" because we're stupid which is plain not fair. They'll do pretty much anything to discredit the English Division students. I've been the victim of that, with one particular polish division surgery professor trying to humilate me in front of all the polish students during an operation. I am curious to know which teacher it might be because always when we've had meetings with our year tutors about exams, they're always emphaising that they want to give us a high standard of education.

The teachers, are also not the most appoachable people, and while they may answer some questions in class, they're not prepared to help if you go to their office for example. They say it constitutes extra tuition. The truth is, the teachers get their gross pay for their work in Polish Division. English Division pay is purely on a class by class basis, so they're not prepared to help for anything that they don't get money for. I was told this by my anatomy lab teacher. Its sad considering, when I studied in at university in England, I used to be able to walk in and see my professors anytime. Even when it comes to exams, we don't really get a lot of help from the teachers. We have to rely on the goodwill of senior students to get past exam papers, which they've taken from exams. That is not always so frequent, with it being such a competitive place. I'd say its pretty much the same for Polish Division students according to what my Polish friends have told me. I have many friends in Polish Division who also tell me the same things - that the teachers don't help etc etc.

Gdansk is not the perfect place, there are plenty of things with the course that could be improved, but the standards are high, and constantly getting higher. Administratively there is a lot of bureaucracy, but for a teacher to say that our exams are easier is insulting not only to myself, but to pretty much all the English Division students who work extremely hard (not really having much of a life too).

As for Masaryk, I am not entirely sure about it. Whilst I've heard of it, I don't know anyone that has been there. Have you tried Charles University? I'd say their medical programs are perhaps better and more established and organised than in Gdansk. I think there are more British in the Czech Rep, because its been advertised here for longer. A lot of Swedish and Norwegians tend to come to Gdansk (so they feel very much at home), a few from Britain & Ireland (on the increase), Canadians and Americans as well as others from a few other countries. Even Semmelweis in Budapest is a good option. There are other universities in Poland like Lublin, Siliesia, Lodz, Wroclaw, Jagallonian (Krakow), Warsaw and Poznan, all of which are good, established programs too. I'd probably put Gdansk 4th behind Jagallonian, Warsaw and Poznan in terms of "established" Polish medical programs. One thing for is that in Eastern Europe wherever you go, its going to be extremely hard. If I were you, I'd consider your country first, maybe then consider Eastern Europe in general as a 2nd choice. Hope what I've said helps, and that I haven't put you to sleep :). If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to contact me .

07-08-2011, 09:57 AM
thank you anuruddha1982 for another valuable post! I think it will be very usefull for other dozens of prospective Gdańsk med students. Well I honestly don't know what to think about such a bizzare behaviour that some of the teachers of GMU show towards the international students:/ I'm really glad to hear from you that the opinions about the low quality of educations are just worthless rumours. Gdańsk is a very atractive place to me for various of personal reasons so it's good to hear that it's not worse than the 3 best polish med schools (warsaw, poznan and krakow).

Copyright © 2003-2020 ValueMD, LLC. All rights reserved.