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University of Tromsø goes for “the Linköping model"

Linköping University was the first in the world with student-run hospital departments, known as Clinical Training Wards (KUA).  After receiving a visit from the Faculty of Health Sciences, the University of Tromsø decided to invest in what they call the “Linköping model”.

In these clinical training wards, during the final stage of their course, the students run a normal ward with actual patients. The students come from different study programmes and work in teams. In 1996 the Faculty of Health Sciences (HU) was the first in the world with a clinical training ward run by students. Now there are three wards, through which thousands of students have passed over the years.  The aim of these wards is to promote cooperation between different professional groups and to reflect the teamwork that students will meet in their professional lives. The model continues to inspire other universities to imitate it.

Leaders in interprofessional education in the Nordic countries

The University of Tromsø writes on its website that “the Faculty of Health Sciences in Linköping are leaders in interprofessional education in the Nordic countries.” Arnfinn Sunsfjord, dean of the University of Tromsø, recently received an inspirational visit from Linköping Faculty of Health Sciences.

“Now we want to create student-run hospital wards in conjunction with Nordnorge University Hospital, where the students will be able to work with specific types of patient cases. We have established the first step in this process,” says Sunsfjord.

Karin Kjellgren
Karin Kjellgren, Pro-Dean for Education

Karin Kjellgren, Pro-Dean for Education; Anette Theodorsson, coordinator of the medicine programme; and Ola Wahlström, professor of orthopaedics, visited Tromsø to speak more about the ”Linköping model”.

“The Faculty of Health Sciences in Linköping consciously focuses on cooperation across professional borders, and medical students participate in a number of common courses,” says Kjellgren.

Inspired by the holistic view

What inspired Sunsfjord and his colleagues was to hear how students at the Faculty of Health Sciences work on reality-based patient cases with emphasis on the holistic view of the person.

The Faculty of Health Sciences also has interprofessional patient simulation as a part of their education. The students work together on simulated scenarios and a realistic human dummy. The University of Tromsø wants to establish the same model and environment for simulation as we have in Linköping.

“We’re following the same path as Linköping Faculty of Health Sciences and we therefore have a common ground for collaboration and development in the area of interprofessional learning,” says Sunsfjord.


Facts about KUA:

  • Practical work in the training wards is a mandatory element in the final stage of healthcare training at the Faculty of Health Sciences.
  • There are three wards: KUA 30 and KUA 9, orthopaedic wards at the University Hospital (US) and Vrinnevi Hospital, and KUA 82 which is a geriatric ward at US. In total there are about ten clinical training wards around Sweden.
  • In KUA, 30 students staff the ward in three ward terms from 06:45-21:30, even on weekends. Each fortnight 20 new students come to the ward. A total of 7,000 students have worked on the ward since its inception in 1996.
  • The copious staffing level usually means that the patients feel well looked after and surveys have given the system good feedback. At KUA 30 alone, 4,500 patients have been cared for.


Text: Susanne B Karlsson


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Last updated: 2013-05-29