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

Course Overview

A Complete Study of Global Health Problems

Many health problems which were once confined to populations in the developing world have recently taken on global proportions. The speed and ease of inter-continental travel, and waves of refugees and migrants have contributed to the emergence of new diseases and epidemics. At the same time, due to major climactic changes, the planet is plagued by ever more frequent natural disasters.
Bloody regional conflicts and widespread violence against defenceless civilians have created yet another kind of medical-humanitarian crisis and present unprecedented challenges to national health services and international organizations.

These emergencies present a major challenge to physicians and health professionals. The course provides a re-evaluation of the medical profession and of the role of a physician or nurse within this context.  This medicine on a large scale and with limited resources, a kind of medicine for which there is no body of  research, and    with little educational or official support. Medicine focusing on disasters and crises   is poorly funded by governments, largely ignored by major pharmaceutical companies and often used as an occasion for testing new therapies inexpensively.

Fortunately today, more and more medical schools realise the importance of training doctors to face these new challenges: Disaster Medicine, Tropical and Travellers’ Medicine, and Medicine for Vulnerable Populations are now featured in the curriculum of many universities.

Greece, at the Crossroads of Major Public Health Challenges

Greece has only recently begun to pay serious and organized attention to education and research involving these issues. Our region, however, has always been – and probably always will be – at a nexus of human and geologic forces: earthquakes          and floods of human beings.  Serious infectious diseases and threats of epidemics accompany the waves of refugees and migrants into our country. At the same, Greece’s growing contribution to international medical and humanitarian missions     is creating a pressing need for trained scientific personnel to participate in these missions.

An Educational Initiative for Training Staff in “International” Medicine by the University of Athens, School of  Medicine

The University of Athens Medical School is now offering a postgraduate programme entitled:
“International Medicine / Health-Crisis Management”.
This programme focuses on the following subjects: Emergency and Disaster Medicine, Tropical Medicine, Epidemiological Surveillance and Monitoring of Refugee and Displaced Populations, as well as Protection and Safety of Vulnerable Groups. Special units focusing on International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights and the functioning of international organizations are also taught.
The aim of this postgraduate programme is to offer theoretical and practical knowledge to medical doctors and other scientists interested in specialised studies in the above-mentioned fields.
This two-year course leads to a Master’s degree (MSc) from Athens University, Faculty of Medicine, while qualified students could continue as PhD students.

Postgraduate Studies with Practical Knowledge and an Integrated Scientific Approach

This programme is specially designed for medical doctors, nurses and other health professionals who would like to be involved in Public Health Services or Civil Defense agencies, in European and International Health bodies, as well as in Relief or Development NGO's.
Additionally, within the Postgraduate programme special modules (seminars) are included covering specific topics, such as: HIV-AIDS, water and food security, war trauma surgery, advanced disaster relief and human rights protection. These specific modules are addressed to a wider audience, and those who attend these seminars will receive Certificates of Attendance.

Advanced Modern Studies

Teaching personnel involved in this Master’s course are recognized medical authorities and other specialists, as well as professionals with experience in the field. Courses will be held at the well-equipped premises of the Institute for Biomedical Research of the Academy of Athens situated in the vicinity of major nearby hospitals. Some lectures will be delivered by video-conference in the modern teleconference facilities at the University of Athens. Students are encouraged to work on hypothetical scenarios and to participate in practical exercises in collaboration with the Hellenic National Center for Emergency Care (EKAB), the Hellenic Center for Infectious Disease Control (KEELPNO), the Civil Defence Departments, Civil protection and Disaster-Management Units (EMAK), etc. Coordination and monitoring of the postgraduate programme are undertaken by Coordinating and  Scientific Committees, each comprising professors and other scientists with extensive experience in these fields.

A Rigorous Programme of Studies

The program lasts for four academic semesters and consists of eight distinct modules. Each course represents 7,5 academic units, equivalent to 15 ECTS credits: 3 credits for theoretical courses, 1,5 credits for practical work, and 3 credits for dissertations and exams. A total of 120 ECTS is accredited.


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