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History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine

The German Licensing Regulations for Physicians or Approbationsordnung für Ärzte (ÄApprO) requires, in §27, the completion of History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine and the accompanying exam. Teaching in this interdisciplinary subject is comprised of the central topics outlined in §1, namely the philosophical, historical and ethical foundations of medical practice. As in other core subjects in the medical curriculum, teaching is underpinned by leading-edge research and contemporary debates.
For students currently in the first clinical/fifth regular semester, the IMH offers a lecture and seminar in History, Theory and Ethics of Medicine
Exam dates can be found under News.


(Photo: UKB) 

Medical Terminology

For medical students enrolled in the first semester, a practice-based seminar in medical terminology is offered. The seminar is offered to medical students irrespective of their knowledge of Latin (winter term). It is also offered in the second semester (summer term) to Dentistry students without Latin skills.

Exam dates can be found under News.


(taken from: Andreas Vesalius, De humani corporis fabrica, Basel 1543, f. 413)

Elective Module 

The power of facts – producing facts. On evidence, experience and shifting authorities in medicine (winter term 2018/19, Prof. Dr. Mariacarla Gadebusch Bondio / Dr. Tommaso Bruni)
Medicine is a practical and, as such, fallible science. Since Antiquity practitioners have grappled with the inherent imperfections of this science. Recent developments, namely the establishment of the Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) in the middle of the 20th century as the gold standard in clinical research coupled with the rise of Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) in the 1990s, have revolutionised medicine’s scientific standards. Indeed, medicine today is inconceivable without EBM. Nonetheless, EBM has been beset by crises in recent years: study results are difficult to reproduce, research questions are at odds with patients’ actual needs, and demands on research including the tenets of publish or perish as well as diverging research interests have skewed results and complicated what was hoped to be a straightforward science. This confluence of tensions serves as a departure point for the core question of this module: is medical research on the brink of losing both credibility and value?
In this elective module, we will discuss the relationship between the production of evidence and its application in medical practice. We will consider such crucial questions as: how does evidence come into being and through whom? How is data being transformed into information? Who ensures the quality and transparency of research? What is ‘good’ research? Is it ethically justified to conduct research with public funds if the results of the research will not necessarily serve the needs of future patients?  These indicative questions and other pressing ethical questions will be discussed in the seminar.
More information on this course can be found on BASIS.

Foreign Languages Offered to Medical Students

French (instruction from the Institut Français der Universität Bonn)




Lectures in Bioethics are obligatory for students of molecular biomedicine in the fourth semester. The lectures take place every summer term in the lecture theatre at the IMH. The lectures explore problems and methods in applied ethics as well as central topics in Bioethics emerging from core scientific disciplines and techniques in molecular biomedicine. Alongside these topics there will be space for sustained and comprehensive discussion on the moral questions and ethical dilemmas which emerge from the content covered in the lectures.
Exam dates can be found under News.


(Photo: UKB)

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