International Medical Doctor Program


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The International Medical Doctor Program at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University has been designed to foster a new kind of doctor. This doctor will possess the necessary human, cultural and professional values to provide healthcare and share ideas in today’s globalized world.

Why Study medicine at San Raffaele?

UniSR is one of the top-ranking universities in Italy for research and teaching; it is well known in Italy and in Europe for research on Cancer, Urology, Cardiovascular diseases, and cardiac surgery, HIV/AIDS, Rare diseases, Preclinical, and Human Biological Sciences. This means that students have the unique possibility of studying and living in an exciting environment where breakthroughs are made every day in the treatment of acute and chronic conditions.

The 1300 bed hospital in Milan is both a private and a public hospital, which means that you’ll get the chance to see a wide range of patients with everyday diseases or sometimes neglected or even rare genetic pathologies. Don’t forget that Lombardy is one of the richest regions in Europe and Milan is at its very heart.

Classes are smaller compared to the majority of medical schools which will increase student-teacher interaction and productivity.

From the 3rd year, we operate an innovative integrated ‘block’ curriculum, which means that you will always be at the center of the teaching process. You will work in groups with other students to set your own learning goals. This approach encourages pro-active learning, creative thinking, and teamwork.

You will re-visit topics from your first two years in the fourth and fifth years both in class and by sitting mock licensure exams. The second semester of the sixth year is free from lessons and exams, allowing you to concentrate entirely on your Thesis Internship and to do part of it abroad. This gives you the possibility of getting to know foreign institutions where you might want to continue with your specialization training.

The medical school, research institute and hospital at San Raffaele in Milan all boast state-of-the-art facilities and are located on the same premises, allowing for unsurpassed interaction. Medical students can also use the facilities on the Campus, giving them the chance to meet other students studying subjects such as Nursing, Psychology, Physiotherapy, Biotechnology, and Philosophy.

But it’s not all work! At Vita-Salute you will find clubs to join, cultural activities to follow, music bands, sports activities such as football, basketball, cheerleading, and many others. The clubs organize nights out and you will be able to meet students from other faculties and universities in Milan.

Finally, we pride ourselves on being a large family. Our students are very sociable and are committed to the local and international community.

Key Features

The MD program at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University enjoys recognition from the World Health Organization, the British General Medical Council and by the US Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®).

The key features that make the International MD Program unique are:

  • Thirteen ECTS credits - devoted to the Humanities: philosophy, ethics, human sciences, philosophy of science and language and communication skills are studied for preparing a new doctor that has the cultural and professional background needed in today’s globalized world.
  • Assessment of knowledge acquisition with the collaboration of an external, independent third party: this allows a thorough assessment of student preparation as well as measuring teaching efficacy based on reliable international benchmarks;
  • International electives and training activities abroad: the curriculum has been designed to allow students to complete the American licensing examinations USMLE step 1 and 2 in the correct timing and to spend part of their final year abroad taking part to international electives and pre-residency programs.
  • Small classes: a select and limited number of students are admitted each year following an entrance test based on analytical and logical skills. Students from diverse backgrounds, from all over the world, easily become part of the multicultural environment of San Raffaele.
  • English is the official language for all lessons, practical activities and examinations: Italian language courses are organized during the first years to foreign students in order to enable interaction with patients during the clinical years.

Students in San Raffaele study in an exciting environment, where breakthroughs are being made every day in the treatment of acute and chronic conditions. The medical school, research institute and hospital at San Raffaele all boast state-of-the-art facilities allowing for unsurpassed interaction.

The Curriculum is

  • Based on two preclinical years and three clinical years which aim to develop articulate medical skills both at a theoretical and practical level. The sixth, final, year is dedicated to the preparation of a thesis and to the acquisition of specialist notions that will facilitate access to residencies and post-graduate programs;
  • A personalized curriculum: in addition to the core subjects, students can personalize their academic careers choosing from a wide range of tailored activities and insights.

The total number of credits foreseen for the 6-year medical course is 360. These are organized according to the International MD Program general Study Plan.

Year 1

  • Statistics and Bioinformatics
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Medical Physics
  • Humanities
  • Basic Life Support
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Human Genetics and Genomics

Year 2

  • Human Morphology
  • Histology
  • Physiology
  • Principles of Pharmacology
  • Introduction to Surgery

Year 3

  • Basic Pathology and Immunology
  • Microbiology and Mechanisms of Infectious Diseases
  • Clinical Laboratory Medicine
  • Principles of Surgery
  • Digestive System Diseases
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Musculoskeletal diseases
  • Clinical Rotations: Approach to the patient
  • Clinical Rotations: Internal Medicine & Surgery

Year 4

  • Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases
  • Nephrology & Urology
  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Head and Neck
  • Clinical Rotations: Internal Medicine & Surgery
  • Tailored Activities 1

Year 5

  • Clinical Immunology, Rheumatology, and Dermatology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Systematic pathology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Clinical Surgery
  • Imaging
  • Clinical Rotations: Internal Medicine
  • Clinical Rotations: Ob/ Gyn & Pediatrics
  • Tailored activities
  • Clinical Rotations: Community Medicine
  • Tailored activities 2,3

Year 6

  • Emergency medicine
  • Public Health and Legal Medicine
  • Thesis Internship
  • Thesis


Admission is based on selection through an entrance examination which is mandatory for all candidates.

An official regulation and competition call is published containing all the information on the selection procedure for the upcoming academic year.

Each year there is a fixed number of slots reserved to non-European Citizens and to European Citizens.

The test results are available within two weeks from the test date and candidates of both quotas are ranked according to the final score they obtain in the admission test and the best performing candidates are admitted according to the number of slots available and to the modalities indicated in the regulations.


  • In order to be eligible for enrolment, the successful candidate must possess a high school diploma with a minimum of 12 total years of education.
  • A C1 English Language Certification is requested as well.
  • Students with foreign academic certificates must have all the necessary documentation translated and legalized for enrolment by their local Italian Consulate.
  • Non-European Citizens must also request a Study Visa.

Lesson Organization

The Academic year begins in October and ends on the 30th of September each year.

In the first two years, there is a definite distinction between lesson period and exam period and the academic year is organized in two semesters; Lessons normally begin at 9 am and end at 4 or 6 pm. Lunch break is from 1 to 2 pm. Starting from the second semester of the 3rd year, lessons are mainly structured in ‘blocks’ which means that students study one subject at a time.

Attendance in lessons is mandatory. The Italian system of evaluation goes from 18 points to 30 cum laude, where 18 means pass and 30 cum laude corresponds to honors. Each subject has a specific number of credits and each year a specific number of total credits.

Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

The Vita-Salute San Raffaele University was inaugurated in 1996 with its Psychology course, soon followed by the courses of Medicine, in 1998, and Philosophy, in 2002. Since its establishment, the Uni ... Read More

The Vita-Salute San Raffaele University was inaugurated in 1996 with its Psychology course, soon followed by the courses of Medicine, in 1998, and Philosophy, in 2002. Since its establishment, the University has been characterized by a strong integration of teaching and research, in each of its facets: basic, philosophical and social. Read less