A lot has happened at the Laboratoire national de santé (LNS) in recent years. While the institution primarily focuses on patient diagnostics, the National Centre of Pathology (NCP) team, like other LNS departments, is also increasingly involved in research projects. Since 2020, LNS staff members are also teaching at the University of Luxembourg, as part of the newly established Bachelor of Medicine (BMED), thus making a significant contribution to medical training in Luxembourg.
Practical and autonomous training on site
Medical training at the University of Luxembourg has long been a topic of debate, also in the public sphere. In 2020, the Bachelor of Medecine degree was finally introduced; in September 2021, three specialist training courses followed in the fields of general medicine, medical oncology and neurology. While medical education in Luxembourg initially relied increasingly on teachers from abroad, it is also becoming more and more autonomous in terms of staff. Teaching is organised in close cooperation between the biomedical institutions in Luxembourg (DLSM, LHI, LCSB) together with the LNS, the hospital sector and doctors working in private practices. This network ensures practical training through internships, which is combined with theoretical teaching to deepen knowledge in the individual disciplines.
Sustainable commitment of the LNS from the very beginning
The LNS with its various departments has been involved in the development and teaching of the degree programme from the very beginning. The Bachelor’s programme will enter its fifth semester in autumn 2022. Prof. Dr Michel Mittelbronn, head of the NCP, finds it remarkable that about half of his medical team is already involved in the teaching activities of the course and that the other departments of the LNS are also heavily involved: “This commitment shows that the aspirations of our doctors go beyond applied diagnostics and that they enjoy helping to train the new generation of medical professionals and are aware of the important contribution they are making to the development of Luxembourg’s healthcare landscape. Moreover, it illustrates that the LNS, but also the NCP in particular, has undergone a further transitional step from a purely diagnostic activity towards medical research and teaching.”
Comprehensive lecture series on pathology
The LNS team covers various spectrums of medical education through lectures and seminars covering topics such as embryology, anatomy, histology, as well as the pathologies of various organ systems. At the same time, practical training is offered in the form of autopsy courses or various laboratory activities, and from autumn 2022, the NCP will take over its own continuous lecture series on the subject of pathology.
In view of the medical demographics in Luxembourg, the LNS team’s commitment, together with its partners, thus not only sustainably secures Luxembourg’s medical care landscape, but also simultaneously strengthens the corresponding research in the Grand Duchy. Michel Mittelbronn: “At the LNS, we see ourselves as an essential pillar of the health system. In our daily work, we operate at the interface between diagnostics, research, and teaching. In this context, our commitment to medical training is another logical step towards being able to drive and help shape academic development in Luxembourg even better.”