University education and academic programmes, in close association with research and patient care, are of fundamental importance.
The key activity is the Doctor of Medicine programme, which is linked to a large number of specialized medical programmes. The new curriculum anticipates the requirements to be met by 21st century physicians, takes account of the latest developments in educational theory and is more in keeping with the student’s existing educational background. The new training programme is designed along the lines of the Bachelor's/Master's degree structure. Firstly, the ‘VU physician’ profile is formulated in terms of knowledge, skills and professional behaviour. Next, there is a consideration of how these elements should be tested and, finally, there is the question of what additional training is required, above and beyond the legal requirements. The second modification is that the students gain experience of medical practice at an earlier stage, in the form of medical traineeships.
The specialized continuation courses in nursing are another very important part of the overall training programme. Within the VU University Medical Center, it is felt that a stimulating working environment is essential. This is why such great emphasis is given to the development of expertise and skills among the members of staff. The in-house Centre for Training and Education (Amstel Academie) provides a wide range of educational activities. The VU University Medical Center, which functions as the practical workplace for all of these courses, is an ideal hothouse environment for physicians, junior house officers, nurses and paramedics.