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Jessenius Faculty of Medicine

The beginnings of graduate training of medical students in Martin date as far back as 1962 when a detached working place of the Faculty of Medicine of Comenius University in Bratislava was set up in the area of the Martin hospital - a renowned centre of postgraduate training for doctors. In the academic year 1966/67 complete training of general medicine started. In 1969 the Faculty of Medicine with the seat in Martin was oficially established as the 8th faculty and the 2nd Faculty of Medicine of Comenius University.

An important milestone in the Faculty life occured in November 1989 when the Academic Senate was created. On the basis of the decision of the Academic Senate in 1991 the Faculty was renamed to the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in honour of an outstanding medieval physician and humanist Jan Jessenius, the Rector of Charles University in Prague, whose ancestors had their roots in the district of Martin In 1991 our Faculty, as the first Faculty of Medicine in Slovakia, opened enrolment to international students who are tuition-payers. General Medicine education for these students is provided in English language.

Over the last 30 years there were more than 4,000 graduates not only from Slovakia but also from several countries of Europe, Africa, Asia and America. Nowadays, there are students from more than 20 countries, mainly from Scandinavia and the USA, studying General Medicine at the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin.

The Faculty enjoys autonomy in the field of education, research and clinical activities. The Dean, elected by the Faculty Academic Senate, serves for four years. Vice-deans support the Dean in particular areas of his work. The highest scientific body of the Faculty is the Scientific Board. The highest organization of self-government is the Academic Senate of the Faculty in which representatives of teachers and students (including international students) regularly hold meetings. As a part of public University, the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine functions under the auspices of the Slovak Ministry of Education.

The Faculty provides courses in General Medicine Program (6 years) and in Nursing Program (5 years). Graduates in General Medicine receive the degree MUDr. (Medicinae Universae Doctor) and graduates in Nursing the degree Mgr. (Magister) corresponding to Master´s Degree. Teaching is carried out in Slovak language for home students and in English or Slovak for students coming from abroad. The teaching staff encompasses both full-time and part-time professors, researchers, experienced physicians and general practitioners.

In accordance with modern trends, the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin belongs to medical faculties with lower number of students (up to 200 students in one year of study). This provides the conditions for individual approach to students within small study groups. Students are required to study continuously in order to achieve high level of knowledge. Training of scientific and research workers is provided by postgraduate education (internal or external forms) leading to PhD degree.

The Faculty of Medicine has five large lecture halls, several seminar rooms, laboratories and two student hostels with a capacity of more than 1,000 beds. The Library and the Study-Information Centre provide study literature for the international students.

The Faculty posseses a computer-centre with IBM equipment for both teaching and learning. Information from the entire world is available via the Internet and Medline database systems. Satellite interaction EUROTRANSMED offers current information from all branches of medicine.

As today´s health care practitioners must be responsive and adjustable to patient´s needs and receptive to new treatments and technological advances, our students are being prepared to meet these challenges in Martin Faculty Hospital with almost 900 beds and more than 1,700 employees.

Jan Jessenius (1566 - 1621)

JAN JESSENIUS (also written as Jesenius or known as Jan Jesenský), a medieval physician, politician and philosopher of Slovak origin, was born on December 27, 1566 in Wroclaw, Poland, in a family of Balthasar Jesenský and Martha Schueller. His parents moved to Poland from a village Jasenovo near Martin, Slovakia.

Jan studied at Elisabethgymnasium in Wroclaw and from 1583 at the Wittenberg University, Germany. In 1585 Jessenius joined Leipzig University, Germany, and in 1588 Padua University in Italy where he graduated in 1591. In 1593 Jessenius became a physician of Prince of Saxony and in 1594 he was appointed the professor of anatomy at Wittenberg University. Later on, in 1597, he became the Rector of the University. After 1600 Jan settled down in Prague as a professor and anatomy consultant for Bohemian king Rudolf II. In 1617 he was elected the Rector of Charles University in Prague.

In 1600, he demostrated the first public autopsy in the Czech Lands, which brought an extraordinary interest at that time. This famous public postmortem examination lasting five days was carried out by professor Jessenius in front of an audience of more than one thousand at Reèka College in Prague. In 1601 he published detailed description of the autopsy under the title "Anatomiae Pragae anno MDC solenniter administratae historiai".

He was an excellent diplomat and orator and after the dethronisation of Habsburgs in Bohemia, he took several diplomatic missions for Bohemian estates or Directorium and for the newly-voted king Frederic of Palatinate. He was a follower of Renaissance natural philosophy (inspired by Franciscus Patritius) and supported Heliocentrists, as did the outstanding mathematician and astronomer Tadeáš Hájek, whose work was used by Tycho de Brahe, Kepler and Galileo.

After the defeat of Frederic of Bohemia by Ferdinand of Habsburg, he took part in the anti-Habsburg uprising . As a result of his political views and the active participation in the uprising, Jan was one of the 27 Bohemian noblemen executed on June 21, 1621 at the Old Town Square in Prague (there's an memorial with their names today). It is unbearable to imagine: a man of such deeds facing such damning defeat. His tongue was cut out by the executioner Mydlar, he was beheaded and his body quartered. His head was hanged together with the heads of other eleven noblemen outside the Old Town Tower in the centre of Prague and it was on display till 1631.


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