The teaching of the course Histology and Embryology for the study programmes General Medicine and Dentistry is divided into two semesters. Teaching takes the form of lectures and practical exercises, each once a week. In the practical exercises, the focus is on acquiring skills in working with the microscope and histological specimens, guiding the student to be independent in the diagnosis and recognition of cells, tissues and organs. The lectures are theoretically oriented, the student will acquire the necessary knowledge and what is more, he will broaden his professional horizons, make connections and gain the insight so necessary for successful completion of the examination, which is in the winter examination period.
The student will first learn to recognise the four basic types of tissues during the summer term of the first year, and after completing the second, winter term of the second year, he will be able to independently recognise the organs (and their anatomical parts and various functional states) composed of these four tissues. In the winter term, embryology is also taught by lectures, which take the student through fascinating processes, from those preceding conception, through the first divisions of the zygote, to fetogenesis and childbirth.
From the academic year 2019/ 2020, the introduction of a compulsory elective course Clinical Embryology and Reproductive Medicine for 4th year students (guarantors: prof. RNDr. Ivan Varga, PhD. and prof. MUDr. Jozef Záhumenský, Ph.D.) is a novelty. A separate subject summarizing all aspects of human reproduction does not exist in most curricula of medical faculties. Such a subject would link in a logical sequence the knowledge from clinical embryology and assisted reproduction, from the field of female and male infertility, mechanisms of birth defects, their prenatal diagnosis and subsequent specialized neonatal care of the newborn. Lectures are provided by a wide team of experts - university teachers (embryologists, gynaecologists, neonatologist, endocrinologist, geneticist, ...). There is a great interest in the subject among students, as evidenced by the number of medical students who have enrolled in this compulsory elective course. The contents of the seminars can be divided into several headings: 1) Clinical embryology and laboratory part of assisted reproduction, 2) Causes and treatment of female and male infertility, 3) Comprehensive view of the problem of congenital developmental defects, 4) Preconception and prenatal preparation and delivery, family planning, 5) Reproductive immunology and endocrinology.
A student who fails to meet the conditions for successful completion of the course Histology and Embryology I in the summer semester of the first year - in particular, fails to achieve the required minimum 70% success rate on subtests during the semester, as well as fails to pass the remedial credit tests, the Institute will conditionally allow the student to continue his/her studies with the course Histology and Embryology II in the winter semester of the second year.
We are thus accommodating these students who, without the opportunity to continue their studies at our institute, would not be able to continue their studies at all and would be expelled from the institute.
However, such a student will have to fulfill the requirements for successful completion of the Histology and Embryology II course at the end of the winter semester (by passing a colloquial oral examination before a committee composed of the Institute's professional staff. In this examination the student will have to demonstrate mastery of all the basic knowledge from the previous (summer) semester. Successful completion of the colloquial examination will be conditional on the possibility of taking the final examination in Histology and Embryology.
Anatomy, histology and embryology are growing with the development of the biological and medical sciences, like all other theoretical fields of medical study, and therefore the curriculum must also respond to the ever-increasing scope of knowledge. Today's anatomy, histology and embryology deals with the study of the human body from gene expression to macroscopic aspects, and brings new insights into the function, structure and development of organs. The subjects in the curriculum include a range of subjects from related disciplines in addition to anatomy, histology and embryology. Anatomy, histology and embryology are related in content and subject matter to pathological anatomy, physiology, pathological physiology, and medical neuroscience. The aim of teaching these subjects is not only the acquisition of exact medical knowledge in the above-mentioned disciplines, but above all to lead the student to their application in specific clinical situations in the sense of their analysis and comprehensive synthesis.
The graduate of doctoral studies has knowledge based on the current state of scientific knowledge in the field of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, knows the scientific methods of research of living nature with an orientation to the study of the structure and structure of organisms with a focus on humans - the whole body of the organism in toto and its components, i.e. Embryology simultaneously studies the origin and development of the new individual, including normal and pathological variations of development and interspecies differences and similarities. The graduate of the discipline knows or further develops methods that allow the study of the structure of the body of organisms, from the molecular, through the cellular to the macroscopic level. He/she has acquired these skills through study, scientific research and independent creative activity in this field according to an individual study plan under the guidance of a supervisor.
The graduate of the study of the given field has mastered the principles and methodology of scientific work, from the ability of orientation in the latest knowledge of the field, through the scientific formulation of the problem, the assessment of the ethical aspect of scientific work, the planning and implementation of the research of the problem, the scientific processing of the data obtained, their interpretation to their presentation, including in international forums, and possible proposals for their application in practice.
A graduate of the study field of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology has the ability to work independently in a scientific manner and to provide his/her own solutions to problems in the field. He or she has the ability to contribute to the development of the field of study through scientific and pedagogical work. The results of creative experimental work not only contribute to the development of science and scientific knowledge, but their appropriate scientific value allows their clinical application in various fields of medicine, such as gynaecology, reproductive medicine, surgery and others.
The third level of higher education in the present study programme focuses on a narrower specialisation and deepening of the theoretical and scientific knowledge of the professional training of a specialist in the field of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology. Graduates of the study programme find employment at all universities where human biology is taught, either as university lecturers or as scientific researchers. In fact, there is no standard medical, veterinary, pharmaceutical, natural science faculty in the world where the subject is not studied and taught. Thanks to the exposure to a wide range of knowledge and practical laboratory skills, the graduate finds employment in the workplaces of the Ministry of Health. In the private sector, they can also find employment as research, development and professional staff in the pharmaceutical and biochemical industries.
Graduates of the present doctoral study programme are currently in demand mainly in the workplaces of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. Graduates of the doctoral programme can be employed within the Department of Education as university lecturers or researchers in universities with a focus on medicine, health sciences, public health and biology.
Graduates of the present study programme at the Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University in Bratislava are proficient in a wide range of scientific methods used in biomedical research, which they are able to creatively apply in their work and thus contribute to the development of scientific knowledge. They have the prerequisites for successful application in team leadership in a wide range of scientific and research institutions focused on medical, veterinary or pharmaceutical sciences, they are professionally prepared to work creatively in scientific institutes of the Slovak Academy of Sciences at various levels of research.
Current research in the field of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology can be divided into several basic areas, which clearly indicate the possibility of graduates' employment:
- Clinical anatomy - the introduction of microsurgical techniques and endoscopic procedures and the development of imaging methods require a new perspective and more detailed knowledge of anatomy than was available in the past
- developmental biology - knowledge of the roles of signalling molecules and transcription factors allows a better understanding of the development of individual organs, but also of the origin of congenital developmental defects and other pathological conditions (e.g. the molecular mechanisms of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation, which is a fundamental event in early embryonic development, are also responsible for the metastasis of carcinomas)
- modern research in histology - with the application of new chemical, biological, immunological and physical methods to research, such as immunohistochemistry, elemental (EDAX) analysis of tissues, in vitro culture methods for cells and tissues, or the ever-improving methods of electron microscopy
- Clinical embryology and reproductive medicine - clinical embryology is the field that works with oocytes, sperm and embryos outside the body to fertilise women - the treatment of infertility. However, this modern field nowadays includes much more, including the storage (cryopreservation) of gametes and embryos, as well as genetic testing before embryo implantation.
The person responsible for the implementation, development and quality of the study programme :
Prof. RNDr. Ivan Varga, PhD., Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University in Bratislava, Špitálska 24, 813 72 Bratislava, tel.: +421 2 9011 9547, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Study programme advisor:
RNDr. Marianna Danková, PhD., University Associate Professor (email@example.com; +421 2 9011 9319, personal meeting by appointment by e-mail)