Athens University School of Medicine. Postgraduate course on Disaster Medicine and Health-Crisis Management School of medicine Athens University

Masters’ curriculum

The programme lasts for four academic semesters and consists of eight distinct modules . Each module represents 7,5 academic units: 3 credits for theoretical courses, 1,5 credits for practical work, and 3 credits for dissertations and exams. A total of 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) is accredited.

Course Modules and Course credits
Course Modules Duration Lecture’s Credits Practical Work Credits Exam’s Credits Total Credits ECTS Equivalence
Introductory Course 1 semester
13 weeks
3 [26 lectures] 1,5
[12 h]
3 7,5 15
Disaster Medicine A' 1 semester
13 weeks
3 [26 lectures] 1,5
[12 h]
3 7,5 15
Disaster Medicine B' 1 semester
13 weeks
3 [26 lectures] 1,5
[12 h]
3 7,5 15
Medicine For Vulnerable Populations A' 1 semester
13 weeks
3 [26 lectures] 1,5
[12 h]
3 7,5 15
Medicine For Vulnerable Populations B' 1 semester
13 weeks
3 [26 lectures] 1,5
[12 h]
3 7,5 15
International Medicine A' 1 semester
13 weeks
3 [26 lectures] 1,5
[12 h]
3 7,5 15
International Medicine B' 1 semester
13 weeks
3 [26 lectures] 1,5
[12 h]
3 7,5 15
International Law & International Developmental Cooperation 1 semester
13 weeks
3 [26 lectures] 1,5
[12 h]
3 7,5 15
Masters course Thesis 1 semester
13 weeks
- - 15 15 -
Total - - - - 75 120

Course Modules by Semester
Α΄ Semester Introductory Course Disaster Medicine Α΄
Β΄ Semester Disaster Medicine Β΄ Medicine For Vulnerable Populations Α΄
C΄ Semester Medicine For Vulnerable Populations Β΄ International Medicine Α΄
D΄ Semester International Medicine Β΄ International Law & International Developmental Cooperation
Masters Thesis

The Master’s  program is as follows:

Introductory Course (60 hours of lectures and practical work)

Our World Today: Major Challenges and Perspectives in Global Health Crisis Management
During this course, students will familiarise themselves with social economic geography and geopolitics. They will learn about global challenges to world health and review their knowledge of modern epidemiological surveys and biostatistics. The course focuses on introductory concepts of public health, preventive medicine, health promotion and environmental health. Finally, the course provides introductory knowledge about dealing with international bibliography, researching, writing a paper, presenting a topic etc.

Module Two: (60 hours of lectures and practical work)

Disaster Medicine A': Emergency Care for Trauma and Injuries
In this course students will obtain theoretical and practical knowledge of emergency medicine and first aid as members and/or coordinators of a rescue team. Lectures and practical demonstrations will introduce students to pre-hospital trauma care, transportation of victims and concepts of in-hospital emergency medicine under harsh conditions. At the end of this course, students will be able to evaluate and triage trauma patients, to coordinate effective first aid delivery and prompt evacuation of the victims, and to provide first aid treatment in an emergency department.

ATLS and/or PHTLS accreditation will be offered within this course.

Module Three: (60 hours of lectures and practical work)

Disaster Medicine B': Medical Care of Mass Accident and Disaster Victims
This course tackles the problems of massive health losses, both in acute and post emergency phases. The need for a multi-functional approach to such disasters is highlighted, and the requirement that medics work as part of multi-disciplinary teams is stressed. Students are introduced to medical practice under extreme conditions, population safety and monitoring of the area of destruction, triage and organisation of first aid stations.

Additional course units explore armed conflicts, terrorist attacks, biological and chemical disasters, nuclear accidents and natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes and floods.

Special emphasis is also given to disaster preparedness, logistics and rational use of resources, as well as to early diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress syndrome, both for the population and the rescuers.

During training, a number of virtual scenarios will be studied and presentations of real time situations as experienced by eyewitness protagonists will be discussed. Students will participate in simulation exercises, organised by Civil Defense and other agencies. At the end of this course, students are expected to have the knowledge and skills that would allow them to participate as a member of a disaster relief team, both in Greece and abroad.

Module Four: (60 hours of lectures and practical work)

Medicine for Vulnerable Populations A': Epidemiological Surveillance and Protection
During this course, students will acquire knowledge pertaining to public health, with emphasis on:

  • Vulnerable populations in both the Third World and in developed countries
  • Epidemiological monitoring of transmittable diseases with special reference to so-called “emerging ” infections
  • Cross-border sanitary monitoring of migrant influx and displaced populations as well as health care of minorities with limited access to health care

Students will participate in epidemiological monitoring exercises in collaboration with the Centre for Prevention and Control of Disease (KEELPNO) and will study epidemic models and the organisation of sanitary monitoring in asylum seekers reception centres. By the end of the course, students will have learnt to recognise the danger of an epidemic, to diagnose a wide range of cases of infectious diseases and to propose and apply modern methods of prevention and treatment.

Module Five: (60 hours of lectures and practical work)

Medicine for Vulnerable Populations B': Mother and Child
This unit focuses on prevention and treatment of diseases in vulnerable populations. It includes examination of deprivation diseases related to lack of safe food and water (tuberculosis, AIDS, ophthalmic and skin disease etc). Students are introduced to perinatal care, infant and childhood morbidity prevention, as well as to diseases affecting specific groups such as the handicapped, psychiatric patients and detainees.

Students will learn to organise and manage a feeding center, a therapeutic feeding dispensary, as well as an Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) Center. Organisation of breastfeeding and vaccination campaigns, and administration of medicines according to WHO’s guidelines are also anticipated.

Module Six: (60 hours of lectures and practical work)

International Medicine A': Travelers’ Medicine
During this course, students will acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases related to transcontinental travel. “Medicine for transient populations” with emphasis on WHO’s advisories on the protection of transient populations, immunization, disease prevention and chemoprophylaxis protocols for each country will be discussed.

Students will observe practical exercises at the Centre for Communicable Diseases in collaboration with the Ministry of Health’s Department of Hygiene and Public Health.

Module Seven: (60 hours of lectures and practical work)

International Medicine B': Tropical Medicine
This unit concerns Tropical Medicine and the study of emerging infections in Third World countries. Students will be taught to diagnose, prevent and treat the most important diseases that mainly concern developing countries, but have recently begun to appear in developed countries as well. Particular attention will be paid to modern efforts to restrict malaria, AIDS lehismaniasis and hemorrhagic fever viruses. Moreover, students will be taught traditional diseases due to zoonoses, parasites, viruses and infectious skin diseases of the tropics. Students will practice in the Hellenic Pasteur Institute’s laboratories and in other laboratories in order to learn laboratory diagnosis and quantification of the most important illnesses of this category.
Ideally, a program for students’ practical exercises is foreseen in collaboration with Institutes of Tropical Diseases in Africa.

Module Eight: (60 hours of lectures and practical work)

International Law & International Developmental Cooperation
During this series of courses students will be taught the concepts pertaining to Human Rights and the mechanisms for its protection. They will be introduced to the principles of International Humanitarian law, the Geneva Conventions, the obligation to respect non-combatants and care for the wounded, the essentials of diplomatic representation and will learn about International Human Rights Protection Organisations.

This unit will offer extensive information on “Humanitarian Medicine” and on the idea of so-called medicine “without borders”. Students will study subjects on respect and defense of human rights, and the effects of the use of illegal weapons such as chemical and biological warfare, mines and cluster bombs. Discussions will focus on major humanitarian issues such as the use of light firearms, mobilization of children and rape of non-combatant women as means of military repression.

An important part of this unit aims to encourage students to serve as volunteers in major non-governmental relief organisations and to familiarise themselves with the process of developing and implementing humanitarian emergency aid and developmental collaborative programs in Third World countries.

Master in Science ( MSc) Dissertation

At the beginning of the third semester, students will choose a subject for their thesis. The thesis represents 15 credits. The thesis may be presented in equivalent forms apart from written (i.e. film, photograph exhibit, web-page creation, etc.). The thesis must be presented in academic scientific format for publication. The candidate will defend his/her thesis during a special meeting of the Postgraduate Committee and will be graded by the Scientific Committee of the Faculty. The most interesting theses will be published on the master’s web page.


 

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