The First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University (Czech: 1. lékařská fakulta Univerzity Karlovy) is one of five medical faculties of Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Founded in 1348 at the same time as the university itself, it is the oldest medical faculty in Central Europe and the 11th oldest medical institution in the world. Situated in the centre of Prague, the faculty provides education in all fields of general medicine. It is regularly ranked in the top 1% of medical faculties globally.
It is one of the five medical faculties of Charles University, alongside the Second and Third Faculties, both in Prague, and faculties in Plzen and Hradec Kralove.
Charles University was established in 1348 and a medieval faculty of medicine was one of the four founding faculties (with the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Law, and Faculty of Theology). In 1953 the former Faculty of Medicine in Prague was divided into three medical faculties: the Faculty of General Medicine, the Faculty of Pediatric Medicine, and the Faculty of Hygiene. Following the Velvet Revolution, these three faculties evolved into the First, Second and Third Faculty of Medicine, respectively.
Admission to the faculty is based on performance in high school (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), English proficiency and performance in entrance exams. Entrance examinations are conducted at the university and by some representative offices abroad, and are considered to be among the hardest university entrance exams in Europe. After the entrance exams, interviews are conducted with successful candidates.
Around 3400 students are enrolled in the First Faculty of Medicine. Most teaching facilities are located in the centre of Prague, near Charles Square, I. P. Pavlova and Albertov. The majority of clinical instruction takes place at the General University Hospital in Prague, and other teaching hospitals include the Military University Hospital in Prague, Thomayer Teaching Hospital, Bulovka Hospital and Motol University Hospital.
The faculty runs bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes, and several Ph.D. study programmes. The two main study programmes at the faculty are General Medicine and Dentistry, taught either in English or Czech. The Medicine program lasts for 6 years, and Dentistry for 5 years.
The teaching staff consists of around 110 professors, 150 associate professors and around 700 assistant professors. Alongside teaching, the faculty is also a research institution.