Helsinki Faculty of Medicine in Europe’s top five

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Helsinki ranked fifth in a survey of top European institutions in clinical medicine published by the Times Higher Education supplement.

Laboratory work

The survey, which is based on the number of citations per scientific paper, named the faculty of medicine at Erasmus University Rotterdam as the best in Europe. The medical faculties at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Glasgow were also in the top five.

This time round, the internationally highly rated comparison by the Times reviewed the years 1998-2008. The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Helsinki published 10,169 articles during this period. The number of citations per paper averaged more than twenty.

Articles dealing with epidemiology and cancer research chalked up a substantial number of citations.

Tomi Mäkelä, Dean of Research at the Faculty of Medicine, explains that Helsinki’s excellent ranking is explained by the long tradition of Finnish medical research.

“Our doctors have traditionally focused on research. Worldwide, this is unusual; doctors often go straight from university into more financially rewarding work and leave research to others. We have also received recognition for the number and quality of our publications.”

Tomi Mäkelä also speaks highly of the Faculty’s partners on the Meilahti Campus.

He is pleased with the Faculty’s ranking based on numbers of citations but is careful about placing too much value on one listing.

“Our ranking may drop a few places over the next ten-year period because our clinical medicine citation graph has evened out somewhat. There has also been a decline in the interest shown by young doctors for research. On the other hand, there is tremendous potential for research, especially into the interface between the clinical and biomedical sciences.”

Nevertheless, the Faculty’s ranking is no fluke. Preliminary information indicates that Helsinki University will be included in the top five in a survey to be published imminently by the University of Athens, which covers all medical research at more than 200 European medical schools.

Text: Juha Merimaa
Foto: Liisa Huima
Translation: AAC Noodi


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