Universidad de Ciencias Medicas

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Universidad de Ciencias Medicas (UCIMED)
Motto Excelencia Académica por Tradición
Type Private Medical Sciences School
Established 1976
Rector Pablo Guzman Stein
Dean Dr.Zamora (medicine), Ivette Fonseca (pharmacy)
Location San José, Costa Rica
Campus Urban
Website http://www.ucimed.com

Universidad de Ciencias Medicas (UCIMED) is a non profit medical school located in San José, Costa Rica. The school is known for teaching medicine and is recognized as one of the best medical schools in Costa Rica.[1] UCIMED was founded in 1976 by surgeon and investigator Dr. Andres Vesalio Guzman Calleja (General Surgeon) as the Escuela Autónoma de Ciencias Médicas (Autonomous School of Medical Sciences). In 1999 the medical school decided to become independent and thus changed its name to UCIMED - Universidad de Ciencias Medicas Dr. Andres Vesalio Guzman (Medical Sciences University). Three years after its name change in March 2003 the National System of Accreditation for Superior Education (SINAES) accredited the university for its teaching in medicine.[2]

In 1998 UCIMED introduced pharmacology as a major.[1]

Academics and accreditation[edit]

Medicine, Pharmacy, Nutrition, Physiotherapy and Microbiology at UCIMED are all five-year programs. Those programs are semester based and classes are taught in Spanish. During the first five semesters students get a bachelor's degree. During the fifth semester students start their internship (medicine) at hospitals from Costa Rican Department of Social Security such as the Hospital San Juan de Dios (Main General Hospital) and Hospital Mexico. After finishing the eleventh semester students obtain a degree.

In March 2003 the National System of Accreditation for Superior Education (SINAES), which is a state institution whose mission is to promote the progress in universities standards, granted the accreditation to UCIMED medicine career program. The Pharmachology career also has this accreditation.[2] This turned UCIMED into the second university with an accredited career in medicine, after the Universidad de Costa Rica. The Pharmacy program was granted this accreditation as well. This accreditation assures that studies have international standards.

The university is also part of the World Directory of Medical Schools from the World Health Organization

In 2016 the International Foundation Of Medicine Clinical Sciences exam was applied to all last year medical students in Costa Rica prior to their acceptance for their Internship. UCIMED was the only institution next to Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) to achieve passing scores over the international standard. And had the second best results behind UCR on national passing scores.


The university requires foreign and national students to do an admission test to enter the university. Students whose grades achieve the university's standards are granted an interview with the dean of Medicine to assess their motivation. Costa Rican students must present their high school diploma and grades.[1]

Agreement with Kaplan[edit]

UCIMED has signed an agreement with Kaplan, Inc. to prepare medical students for the USMLE and the Costa Rican state exam. This also provides students with Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates certificate with aid from Kaplan Inc. representatives working within UCIMED

External links[edit]