Politecnico di Milano and Humanitas University launch new Laurea course to train doctors of the future

Precision medicine, gene therapies, artificial intelligence, neurorobotics and big data: these are just some of the issues that future doctors will increasingly find themselves facing on a daily basis, and which they will have to know how to manage for the good of the patient. This is the essence of MEDTEC School, the new international Laurea in Medicine (equivalent to Bachelor of Science), from Humanitas University and the Politecnico di Milano, which integrates and strengthens the skills of the medical doctor with those of biomedical engineering. The course is the only one in the world of its type and duration. 

The course will be taught in English and last six years. It aims to train doctors to fully understand and consciously manage the advanced technologies that characterise – and in the future will increasingly characterise – the medical profession to be able to offer patients innovative and personalised treatments. On completion of the course, the Medicine graduates can also ask the Politecnico to award them the three-year Laurea in Biomedical Engineering so they can continue pursuing their vocation: medical practice in the Specialist Schools, medical and engineering research with technical PhDs or moving directly into industry. 

MEDTEC School will offer 50 places each year. It will be located in a new building which reflects, both in terms of the architecture and organisation of workspaces, the integration between Medicine and Engineering that is characteristic of the course: open and modular laboratories that connect to the classrooms where lectures take place will promote the exchange of knowledge and communication between students and professors from different disciplines. The new building will be on the green, high-tech Humanitas University campus, with a Simulation Center that is one of the most advanced in Europe. The proximity to the hospital and research laboratories creates a breeding ground and brings added value to develop new professionals. The building has benefitted from a significant private donation. 

The convergence of Medicine and Engineering is one of the major factors in future development, and Milan and Lombardy are the engine that can make Italy the driving force in state-of-the-art healthcare that is accessible to all by leveraging existing skills and the synergy between them. 

The big international technical universities have identified in life sciences and precision medicine the future of advanced technologies and data science. Similarly, the Politecnico di Milano has identified in medicine, health and wellbeing some of the major challenges facing us over the next few years. Challenges that are also fundamental in providing our country with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop our graduate students.

The course is based on the unique teaching approach of Humanitas University and the Politecnico di Milano, which includes the use of interactive methodologies such as research-based learning, problem-based learning, case methods and skill-based portfolios.

Developing the course is a team of academics: Prof. Maria Laura Costantino, President of the MEDTEC School Laurea course and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, Prof. Maurizio Cecconi, Vice President of the MEDTEC School Laurea course, Head of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at Humanitas and Professor of Anaesthesiology at Humanitas University, Prof. Stefano Duga, Director of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Professor of Molecular Biology at Humanitas University and Prof. Andrea Aliverti, Coordinator of the Doctoral Programme in Bioengineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano.

The link between medical and engineering training will become clear during training as students alternately attend both Humanitas University and the Politecnico di Milano. For the first three years of the course, students will attend alternate semesters at the two institutions, and for the following three years, courses and modules will be taught by professors from the Politecnico at the Humanitas University campus to ensure that engineering skills are fully integrated into the clinical training course. Professors from the Politecnico will also provide co-tutoring in some of the professional activities typical of medical training. 

The entrance examination will be held on 6 September 2019. The examination, which is entirely in English, aims to assess the aptitude and propensity of applicants to study both life sciences that are typical of medicine and the hard sciences typical of engineering.