17 May 2019   |   Network update from University of Luxembourg
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University of Luxembourg appoints Gilbert Massard as Director of Medical Education


The Board of Governors of the University of Luxembourg has appointed Professor Gilbert Massard Director of medical education and full professor, with the initial task to launch the new bachelor in medicine starting in September 2020.

Luxembourg-born Professor Gilbert Massard, 59, has spent most of his career at Université de Strasbourg, where he was appointed as Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery in 1996. In addition, he was the Head of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg (HUS), of which he was also a Board member. He speaks French, German, English, Russian and Luxembourgish.

Gilbert Massard specialises in thoracic oncology, lung transplantation, and medical education. He has authored over 250 articles in scientific journals and has held several positions in national and international societies. He currently acts as the president of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and as vice-president of the French Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. His commitment to medical teaching is illustrated by several mandates, such as member of the section for cardiothoracic surgery of the French National Council of Universities and chairman of the European Board of Thoracic Surgery and current programme director at the Education Council of the European Respiratory Society.

“Initiating the new medical education programme and establishing a new bachelor is an exciting challenge,” comments Professor Massard. “We will work on a competency-based curriculum that addresses the challenges created by the current developments in medicine, particularly the emergence of personalised medicine.”

The new bachelor programme will build upon an existing first year of medical studies at the University of Luxembourg, and focus on the early development of clinical skills through simulation training and tutoring by doctors with proven teaching abilities. “We strive for excellence; we aim to enable our graduating bachelors in medicine to join master programmes in partner universities with a top level of knowledge and practical skills,” explains Professor Massard, adding: “To make the medical education programme a success, we will cooperate closely with international partners.”

The programme will also provide its graduates with interdisciplinary abilities, by imparting skills in areas such as molecular biomedicine and bioinformatics. Particular attention will be given to the development of non-technical skills.

“The launch of the medical education programme is an important step for the University. This was the missing ingredient to advance our already excellent medical research to a new level,” states Rector Stéphane Pallage. “We are very much looking forward to working with Professor Massard. With his extensive experience in medical research, practice and education, he will contribute significantly to the success of the project. The University is set to play a crucial role in ensuring that Luxembourg’s growing population will continue to rely on a highly-competent medical skillset at the cutting edge of fast-developing health technologies.”

The launch of the new medical education programme illustrates the University’s strategy to contribute to a sustainable supply of doctors in Luxembourg. The implementation of a Bachelor's degree in medicine will be complemented by the establishment of specialisation courses in neurology, oncology and general medicine, in collaboration with hospitals. A possible extension to Master studies will be considered following a thorough evaluation of these new courses.

The appointment of Prof. Massard follows a decision by the Board of Governors in January 2019. Prof. Massard will take up his new position as of June 2019.

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