The Wroclaw Medical University is one of the most renowned public medical schools in Poland. The Wroclaw Medical University consists of 5 faculties: Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Public Health and Postgraduate Education. The total number of chairs and clinics amounts to 164. Altogether, 1093 academic professors and teachers work at the Medical University and about 5 700 students continue their studies.
Wroclaw Medical University has 39 international agreements of co-operation signed with other universities abroad. There is a wide exchange of students and teaching staff within the framework of the Socrates/Erasmus programme of the European Union, especially with France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands and England.
Wrocław is a city with a rich medical tradition. The first hospital was founded in the 13th century. Medicine was first taught in 1745 by the establishment of the Collegium Medico-Chirurgicum. It was the first medical school in the city. Many famous doctors lived and worked in Wrocław, such as Alois Alzheimer - neurologist and psychiatrist, who presented his findings regarding degeneration of the brain cortex (Alzheimer's Disease), Robert Koch - creator of modern bacteriology (Nobel Prize in 1905), Paul Erlich - pioneer of present chemotherapy (Nobel Prize in 1908).
At present, Wrocław is an active centre of medical student education. The process of teaching is realised by a team of highly qualified specialists. The Medical University also performs a wide range of scientific activities and provides the whole region of Lower Silesia with highly specialised medical care.
Historically, the city's strategic location between branches of the slow running Odra River, which forms many islands in the area, was utilised in the Middle Ages when Wrocław was turned into a fortress. In early modern times, the system of defence was expanded. It is seen now as fortifications, surrounding its historical centre of original architecture. At the end of the Second World War, 70% of the town was destroyed. A great effort was needed.
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