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Clinical Training Course

The Clinical Training Course is a special feature of the Düsseldorf Curriculum Medicine. It extends over the first two years of study and teaches the basics of medical anamnesis and physical examination with reference to the respective topic module. The students will work on actor patients or their own fellow students and can prepare themselves for dealing with real patients (e.g. in the Practitioner Internships and in the practice modules). They practice the basic examinations of the skin of the musculoskeletal system, the abdomen, the cardiovascular system, the respiratory organs as well as neurological, ENT and eye examinations. They usually work together in fixed small groups for the entire duration of the course and are accompanied by a student tutor. In this protected atmosphere, our students learn early on to overcome inhibitions about patient contact and to try out examination techniques.

After successful completion of all parts of the course as well as the Practitioner Internships 1 and 2, the students attain the maturity for clinical clerkships at the end of the second year of study and are then allowed to perform the Clinical Elective prescribed by the Medical Licensing Regulations.

Towards Empathic Physicians

In addition to learning and practicing examination techniques, the experience of being examined is also one of the important learning steps on your way to becoming a doctor. These personal experiences are essential to developing a basic empathic attitude that values patients regardless of religious and cultural differences. The empathetic, professional handling of another person's body is one of the social and ethical as well as communicative competencies that are taught as part of the competence orientation of the Düsseldorf Curriculum Medicine. The professional level must be distinguished from personal, e.g. cultural, religious or sexual viewpoints. These must not play any role in this context. We know that this is a challenge for some students. However, we encourage our students to face this personal challenge in preparation for the later part of their studies and their future curative work, and to overcome reservations and gain confidence in themselves and their actions within the protected framework offered by the clinical training course. We are happy to support our students on their way to becoming competent physicians.

Structure and Contents of the Clinical Training Course

In fixed groups of about ten people, the students learn the basic practical skills of physical examination on themselves and on each other. They also practice taking medical histories on real patients.

The role of the lecturer is played by a student tutor from a higher semester, who has been trained in advance by specialist physicians each semester and who usually accompanies the group through all the subject blocks. The small groups and the protected learning atmosphere offer the opportunity for individual development.

The Clinical Training Course is firmly integrated into the topic modules of the first two years of study and is interlinked with them in terms of content. It takes place from the topic module "The Human Body: Biology of Movement" up to and including the topic module "Reproduction, Development and Aging" and maps anamnesis and examination techniques in the following subject areas:

Examination of the skin and the musculoskeletal system, especially the joints:
The Human Body: Biology of Movement (TB 2)

Knowledge of current anamnesis, pain anamnesis, work anamnesis, social anamnesis and vegetative anamnesis:
Molecular Architecture of Life (TB 3)

Orientation neurological examination, ENT examination, and general examination of the visual system:
Nervous System and Senses (TB 4)

Abdominal examination:
Nutrition, Digestion and Bioenergetics - Internal Organs (TB 5)

Examination of the heart and vascular system:
Circulatory System and Blood (TB 6)

Examination of the thorax / lungs and venipuncture:
Respiration, Homeostasis and Excercise (TB 7)

Knowledge of sexual history:
Reproduction, Development and Aging (TB 8)

These anamnesis and examination techniques represent the basic skills of any medical practice and are of the highest relevance. The diversity of the musculoskeletal system, for example, can only be understood by examining as many people as possible of different stature and gender. The Clinical Training Course offers this possibility in a protected atmosphere.

The techniques acquired in the Clinical Training Course are the basis for the Practitioner Internships 1 and 2 and the Clinical Electives, which are to be completed from the lecture-free period after the 4th semester. Regular and successful participation in the course units is also an essential basic requirement for participation in the practice modules starting in the 3rd year of study. In addition, the learned anamnesis and examination techniques form the basis for the Clinical Practical Part of the Intermediate Medical Examination (OSCE) after the 3rd year of study.


The Clinical Training Course takes place in the Skills Lab. For the Clinical Training Course within the scope of the topic module "The Human Body: Biology of Movement", sports clothing is appropriate, which allows the relevant regions of the respective examination day to be identified (e.g. short sports shorts for examinations of the foot and knee). For neurological or heart and lung examinations, which are integrated into the course units of the other topic modules, swimwear (or a sports bra for women) is appropriate. Changing rooms are available on site.

Queries and Issues

We would like to motivate students who feel uncomfortable in their group to first clarify this in the group. But also the experienced tutors, the supervising lecturers or the organizers are always available for questions or problems. We have no objections to a swap of the group with a fixed swap partner.

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