The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka was founded in 1955 and has grown in the past six decades into one of the most significant educational and scientific institutions recognized in Croatia and abroad.
Our Faculty was established by notable people who were ahead of their time. The establishment was initiated by Andrija Štampar. He brought together former teachers and students from Zagreb, Vienna, Pest and Prague, which brought a light of diversity, tolerance and free thought to our region. The Faculty is located in one of the oldest parts of Rijeka, in the impressive palace of the Branchetta brothers dated from the beginning of the twentieth century. The project of the young architect from Rijeka who won the competition was called Aria e luce. Today, this building surrounded by an attractive park is one of the most beautiful faculties of the University of Rijeka, and certainly beyond.
In synergy with our teaching bases and the University of Rijeka, we educate experts in the field of medicine and sanitary engineering. We collaborate closely with the Faculty of Health Studies and the Faculty of Dental Medicine, and we jointly educate future doctors of dental medicine and non-medical healthcare professionals.
We are the oldest and largest constituent of the University of Rijeka.
The greatest value of the Faculty are our students, teachers and alumni.
Students of the Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka have an active social life, they organise numerous student events (Humanijada, Bal medicinara, Kapi života…) and do not lag in scientific and professional work, which is evident through the organization of numerous international scientific and professional conferences. The Student Union, FOSS, CroMSIC, EMSA give that special, much-needed breath of student life that is almost as valuable as the educational part that our teachers provide.
Finally, our teachers… To be a part of the Faculty that is big enough to be significant, and yet small enough to remain independent – that is the advantage of studying and working at our Faculty. Our teachers recognize their students in the hallways, on the street and in the city, which gives a sense of a direct, personal and individualized approach to students. We are also proud of our alumni! Former students of our Faculty are healthcare providers at the Clinical Hospital Centre Rijeka, most of southwestern Croatia, but also beyond. Many of them are recognized experts abroad who work in prestigious hospitals and research centres throughout Europe and the USA. We are pleased to still be in contact with them through the Faculty’s Alumni Association.
I invite you to our Faculty to study, work and indulge in “More ideja – More ideas”!
Associate Professor Goran Hauser, MD, PhD
The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka is a public training and scientific institution, whose mission is the education of students of medicine, dental medicine and sanitary engineering, with the aim to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to prevent diseases, to maintain and improve health, as well as the patients’ healthcare and rehabilitation. Te educational process is closely connected with the scientific research in the scientific area of biomedicine and healthcare, but also in the interdisciplinary scientific areas, whose results and findings necessarily integrate in the educational process, with the purpose of a lifelong and sustainable development of the society we live in.
The vision of the Faculty of Medicine is that of a continuous development, with the scope to place itself, in the local and international envirnoment, as a clearly recognisable and competitive high educational institution, closely connected and adapted to the requests of the local and wider community. The strategic development concept is the training of staff who will be recognised for the acquired knowledge and skills based primarily on the learning result, with a continuous quality improvement in all the working areas. In this context, the Faculty will bond even more with the leading local and international institutions in the field of healthcare, high education and science, in order to ensure to its students, teachers and all the other employees, conditions for an even better professional prosperity, that will contribute to the further development of the Faculty, University and society we live in. In the area od scientific-research work, we see the Faculty as a scientific centre for biomedical and interdisciplinary researches, in compliance with the European concept of „smart specialisations“, increasingly oriented towards an applied and applicable science, especially in the field of translation research in medicine, as well as the starting point for the introduction of modern scientific findings in the daily medical practice.
A history of the Rijeka University Faculty of Medicine in brief
The Rijeka University Faculty of Medicine was opened in 1955. However, the tradition of innovative, high-quality medical praxis of the Rijeka region, is much older and based upon the contribution of Giovanni Battista Cambieri (1754-1838), who was occupied with the «Scherlievo disease»; Saverio Graziano (1702-1780), the author of the scientific work on mercury-based therapy; Antonio Felice Giacich (1813-1898), the author of the textbook of naval medicine; Georg Catti (1849-1923), the inventor of special rhynolaryngological tongs; Antonio Grossich (1849-1926), who introduced a new way of desinfection of operative field with iodine tincture; Lionello Lenaz (1872-1939), the theoretician of neurology and haematology; Viktor Finderle (1902-1964), the inventor of vacuum-extractor; Valter Rukavina (1896-1972), a brucelosis world expert, as well as of many other physicians and the overall high sanitary consciousness.
On the 17th of September 1954 the Rijeka National Board and the Council for Public Health and Social Policy sent to the Zagreb Faculty of Medicine Council a report of the meeting attended by the dean of the Zagreb Faculty of Medicine Prof. Dr. Andrija Štampar and the president of the Rijeka National Board Edo Jardas with assistants and health service deputies. On that occasion, the suggestion of the Zagreb Faculty of Medicine to establish its Rijeka branch was accepted and the commission in charge of implementing this initiative was named. The preparations were made at the end of 1954 and the beginning of 1955. The buildings of the Branchetta Brothers Foundation were predetermined for the pre-clinical institutes and the administration; one floor and a hall for 100 students were to be built, and clinical lectures were to be held in the existing hospital buildings. The heads of the hospital departments were supposed to teach and to obtain professor degrees (habilitate) regularly, and lecturers from Zagreb and other Yugoslav universities were invited to teach non-clinical subjects. In the Parliamentary session from the 12th of July 1955, an act for the foundation of the Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka belonging to the University of Zagreb was passed. The beginning was set for the academic year 1955/56. At the meeting of the Zagreb Faculty of Medicine on the 13th of July 1955, Prof. Dr. Silvije Novak was elected full professor and acting dean of the newly founded Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka.
The Rijeka National Board handed over to the faculty the buildings of the Branchetta Brothers Foundation at 20-22 Olga Ban Street together with 14 million dinar on the 19th of July 1955. The faculty received a further 15 million dinar from the Executive Board of the People’s Republic of Croatia. By mid-August, Dr. Mato Gržeta became the faculty’s first secretary. In late October, the Council of the Zagreb Faculty of Medicine elected the first teachers: S. Novak and Z. Kučić (internal medicine), J. Komljenović (clinical surgery), A. Medanić (general surgery), D. Perović (gynaecology), Z. Sušić (neuropsychiatry), F. Jelašić (neurology), T. Dujmušić and J. Bakotić (otolaryngology), A. Filipović (ophthalmology), B. Cvitanović (hygiene and social medicine). The building of the Branchetta Foundation was examined and the rooms were allocated in the beginning of November 1955. The acting dean Prof. Dr. Silvije Novak held the introductory lecture, “The meaning of the internal medicine today,” in the Town Hall on the 21st of November 1955 for six students in the fifth year and twelve graduands, for many teachers and distinguished individuals from Rijeka and Zagreb. That was the official beginning of the first academic year at the oldest faculty in Rijeka. On the 23rd of April 1957, the Zagreb University Council sent a suggestion to the Parliamentary Council of the Republic for the Rijeka Faculty of Medicine to become independent and to allow the enrolment of 80 students in the first term which was to start in the autumn. Classes for the fourth, fifth and sixth year were supposed to continue while the second and third years would be organised gradually. On the 20th of June 1957, the Executive Council of the Republic proclaimed the independence of the Rijeka Faculty of Medicine and approved the admission quota of 100 students. That is how the Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka became the first faculty in Croatia founded outside Zagreb.