In the late 1970s, healthcare status indicators in Slavonia and Baranja, in comparison to other regions and the Socialist Republic of Croatia as a whole, indicated an alarming situation.
The number of physicians per 10 000 inhabitants in Slavonia and Baranja was 10.3, whereas in the community of city municipalities of Zagreb this number was 36.8, and in the whole area of the Socialist Republic of Croatia it was 16.2. Slavonia and Baranja, as well as Dalmatia (14.2) were below the average number at the level of the Republic.
The initiative for establishinga study of medicine, which was launched by the physicians of the General Hospital Osijek, headed by Martin Dičić and Ivan Čandrlić, was supported by the heads of the University of Osijek at that time, Professor Petar Anić and president of the University Assembly,Professor Ljubomir Baban, and so the institutional activities which were the prerequisite for successful realisation of the idea of founding the Study of Medicine in Osijek began.
Consequently, a comprehensive "Presentation of indicators of the state of healthcare and medical staff in Slavonia and Baranja" was issued as a separate document. After that, an analysis was made at the former Department of Planning, Economics and Development of Associated Labour in Slavonia and Baranja, for the requirements of the former Association of Municipalities of Osijek.
On 11 April 1979, the Rector, Professor Petar Anić, turned to the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb for help in founding the Study of Medicine in Osijek. At that time, the Dean of the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb was Professor Mladen Sekso and Vice Deans were Mladen Belicza, Boško Barac, Predrag Keros, Milan Škrbić and Dunja Bertić. The named board of the School of Medicine in Zagreb supported the idea of establishing an off-site Study of Medicine in Osijek, as well as in Split, and thus endorsed the idea of a polycentric development of the former Socialist Republic of Croatia. Vice Deans in charge of the off-site Study of Medicine in Osijek were Professor Predrag Keros, and after him Professor Matko Marušić.
By virtue of the Decision of the Secretariat for Education, Culture and Physical Education of the Socialist Republic of Croatia of 30 August 1979, the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb was allowed to organize an off-site Study of Medicine in Osijek. The first generation of students were enrolled in the Study of Medicine in the academic year 1979/1980.
The opening ceremony of the off-site Study of Medicine in Osijek was held on 28 September 1979 on the premises of the former Faculty of Education in Osijek.
On 6 October 1980, the Republic Committee of Education, Culture, Physical and Technical Education of the Socialist Republic of Croatia approved the continuation of the off-site Study of Medicine held by the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb in Split and Osijek. Classes at the off-sitestudy in Osijek were held in the lecture halls of the Faculty of Law, lecture halls and classrooms of the Faculty of Education, lecture halls in the building of the Rectorate of the University, lecture halls and laboratories of the secondary education centre Ruđer Bošković and also in the General Hospital Osijek and the Health Centre Osijek. The scientific unit of the General Hospital Osijek was founded on 18 December 1980, and its founder and head from 1980 until 2004 was Professor Antun Tucak. With the establishment of that scientific unit, which became the centre of scientific work and education of physicians in Slavonia and Baranja, the foundations for scientific research activity was set. The scientific unit became member of the University of Osijek on 24 February 1981 and started issuing the quarterlyscientific and professional gazette "Medicinski vjesnik" (Medical Journal), successor of "Glasilo za liječnike bolnice" (Hospital Physicians' Newsletter), which was edited by Professor Branko Milošević from 1969 to 1981 and then byProfessor Antun Tucak from 1982 to 2012. The library of the General Hospital Osijek was opened on 20 December 1984, and its first director was M. Sc. Antun Šimić. Thanks to the Dean of the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb,Professor Nijaz Hadžić, on 29 November 1986, the Department for Internal Diseases of the General Hospital Osijek became the first Clinic for Internal Diseases of the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb, General Hospital Osijek, and its first head was Professor Ivan Čandrlić. As time went by, the local self-government failed to provide the necessary space with high-quality lecture halls and laboratories where the students and teachers would have satisfactory conditions for organising the entire teaching process. Consequently, the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb decided that, due to inadequate conditions, the teaching process would be terminated if within one year the required conditions were not fulfilled (a new building for the Study of Medicine in Osijek). The local government promised to solve the issue, but it all remained an empty promise. In light of such circumstances, the teaching assistant Aleksandar Včev and the student Marinko Žulj gathered a group of people who shared their enthusiasm and formed a founding committee for the Society for Establishment and Development of the Study of Medicine. Founders of the Society were Gordana Ajduković, Dubravko Božić, Ivan Čandrlić, Martin Dičić, Frano Dragun, Damir Lenz, Nikola Mandić, Predrag Novaković, Antun Šimunić, Antun Tucak, Aleksandar Včev and Marinko Žulj.
On 2 December 1988,at noon, a meeting of the Assembly of the Society for Establishment and Development of the Study of Medicine in Osijek was held in the conference hall of the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of the General Hospital Osijek. It was then that the heads of the Society were elected, and they were: Gordana Ajduković, Dane Babić, Dubravko Božić, Ivan Čandrlić, Martin Dičić, Frano Dragun, Zvonko Erak, Dušan Gunjević, Josip Harangozo, Željko Huber, Blagoja Kondža, Davor Lamza, Nikola Mandić, Predrag Novaković, Branko Runje, Antun Šimunić, Vladimir Tomić, Antun Tucak, Aleksandar Včev, Matko Vuković and Marinko Žulj. Dubravko Božić, MD, director of the General Hospital Osijek was elected President of the Society. Gordana Ajduković, MD, Deputy Mayor of the City of Osijek, became Vice President, while Aleksandar Včev and Marinko Žulj were elected secretaries.
Vjekoslav Biro, Đuro Ćuti, Srećko Jelinić, Barbara Kalinić and Branimir Zelenka were elected members of the Society's own Control Committee. Đuro Ćuti was elected President of the Society's Control Committee, while Damir Lenz and Dubravko Paulini became treasurers of the Society.
The Society's activists undertook various actions in which they raised funds for construction of the building of basic medical sciences through numerous social activities, organising of concerts, visiting of economic operators in the region and other activities.
As there was no fallout shelter on hospital grounds (and at that time it was prescribed by law that each hospital had to have one), the director of the hospital at the time, who was also President of the Society for Establishment and Development of the Study of Medicine, Dubravko Božić, MD, made a crucial decision – to build the fallout shelter as part of a new building for the requirements of the Study of Medicine.
The design company ETZ (The Economic and Technical Institute) from Osijek was given the task to design the entire facility for scientific research and the Study of Medicine in Osijek, and intense work on this project started in June 1989. The designing works went well, the financial resources were available for the first stage of construction of the new building i.e. construction of the fallout shelter, which actually represented the foundation of the new building for scientific research and the Study of Medicine in Osijek, later referred to as the building forbasic medical sciences. Except for works on the fallout shelter, the available financial resources were sufficient for the entire construction of the new building, including the covering of the roof.
Thus, all the conditions demanded by the School of Medicine in Zagreb, which were prerequisites for the continuation of the teaching process at the off-siteStudy of Medicine in Osijek were fulfilled.
However, new developments further slowed down and raised the costs of construction of the building for basic medical sciences, namely the excavation, recording and conservation of archaeological findings, since the entire city area of Donji Grad was built virtually on top of Celtic and Roman settlements, especially the Roman city of Mursa. Luckily, themanagement of the Societywere able to find a solution with the competent persons of the Conservation Department in charge of the works performed on the archaeological remains at the site of the future building.
After this issue was solved as well, in 1990 the works on construction of the new building began. The fallout shelter, the building structure and the roof were completed by the time the Homeland War broke out, during which the shelter was used for accommodating patients of the General Hospital, which was renamed to Clinical Hospital Osijek on 5 October 1992.
By decision of the Council of the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb, the Work Unit of the off-siteStudy of Medicine in Osijek was formed. Based on the Statute of the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb, and on the proposal of the Scientific-teaching Council, Assistant Professor Martin Dičić was appointed Head of the off-siteStudy of Medicine in Osijek, and he held this position from 1979 to 1988. From 1988 to 1993, the Head was Professor Ivan Čandrlić, and from 1993 to 1996, it was Professor Ante Ivandić. From 1996 until the emancipation of the Study and establishment of the Faculty of Medicine within J.J.Strossmayer University of Osijek, the Head was Professor Antun Tucak.
In 1994, the Council of the University of Osijek founded the Committee for Transformation of the Off-siteStudy of Medicine into the Faculty of Medicine of J.J.Strossmayer University of Osijek, whose task was to finish the construction of the building for basic biomedical sciences on the grounds of the Clinical Hospital Osijek. The Government of the City of Osijek, Osijek-Baranja County and the Ministry of Science of the Republic of Croatia signed the Agreement on Building Completion. Theestablishment of the Faculty as part of the University of Osijek was supported by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia and Minister of Health, Technology and Sports at the time, Professor Ivica Kostović, and by the Rector,Professor Gordana Kralik, the Vice Rector,Professor Radoslav Galić as well as the Dean of the School of Medicine of the University of Zagreb, Professor Niko Zurak.
The Faculty of Medicine of Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek was formally opened on 22 September 1998, and the Metropolitan Archbishop of Đakovo-Osijek Archdiocese, Msgr. Dr. Marin Srakić gave his formal blessing for the newly opened Faculty.
The first meeting of the Council of the Faculty of Medicine was held on 15 June 1998, and heads of the following departments were appointed: Professor Vasilije Nikolić for Anatomy, Professor Jasminka Brnjas Kraljević for Medical Physics and Biophysics, Assistant Professor Gordan Lauc for Chemistry, Biochemistry and Clinical Chemistry, Professor Draško Šerman for Medical Biology, Professor Ljiljana Knežević Kostović for Histology and Embryology, Professor Branko Vitale for Physiology and Immunology, Assistant Professor Ante Tvrdeić for Pharmacology, Assistant Professor Branko Dmitrović for Pathology, Assistant Professor Mladen Marcikić for Forensic Medicine, Professor Duško Mardešić for Paediatrics, Assistant Professor Vladimira Barišić Druško for Dermatovenerology, Professor Zdenko Krajina for General Clinical Oncology, Professor Slavko Šimunić for Radiology, Professor Ivan Kuvačić for Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Professor Ivan Soldo for Infectology, Professor Ante Ivandić for Internal Medicine, Assistant Professor Ivan Karner for Pathophysiology and Nuclear Medicine, Professor Janko Hančević for Surgery and War Surgery, Professor Antun Tucak for Urology, Professor Tihomir Ćurković for Ophthalmology, Professor Savo Jovanović for Orthopaedics and Physical Medicine with General Rehabilitation, Assistant Professor Davorin Đanić for Otorhinolaryngology with Audiology and Phoniatry and with Maxillofacial Surgery andDentistry, Professor Boško Barac for Neurology withNeuropathology, Professor Đuro Vranković for Neurosurgery, Professor Nikola Mandić for Psychiatry with Medical Psychology, Assistant Professor Zdravko Ebling for Family Medicine and Primary Health Care and Organization of Health Care and Health Economics, Assistant Professor Katarina Zdravčević Šakić for Anaesthesiology and Reanimation, Assistant Professor Dinko Puntarić for Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Introduction to Medicine and Social Medicine, Professor Radoslav Galić for Medical Statistics and Information Technology, M.Sc. Sanja Babić for Medical Sociology, Professor Biserka Belicza for History of Medicine, Assistant Professor Jasmina Vraneš for Microbiology, Virology and Parasitology.
Professor Antun Tucak was the first Dean, and his mandate lasted from 1998 to 2003. From 2003 to 2005, Professor Krešimir Glavina was Dean. After him, Professor Pavo Filaković was Dean from 2005 to 2009, and since 2009,Professor Aleksandar Včev has held the position of Dean.
The Faculty of Medicine Osijek is one of 17 academic units of Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek and it is the only faculty active in the area of biomedicine and healthcare within the University. The Faculty of Medicine in Osijek is the only faculty of this kind in Slavonia and Baranja, i.e. the eastern part of Croatia, where about one million inhabitants live in 5 counties (Vukovar-Srijem, Brod-Posavina, Požega-Slavonija, Virovitica-Podravina and Osijek-BaranjaCounty).
Apart from the building for basic biomedical sciences, the total area of which is 4500 m2, the Faculty has a Vivarium which covers an area of 300 m2 and a building at the Campus,with total surface area of 1400 m2, which was renovated and opened on 20 January 2010 and where the management and administration of the Faculty of Medicine as well as the Skills Cabinets are situated.
By decision of the Senate of the University of 7 December 2000, the Postgraduate Scientific University Study of Biomedicine and Health (Master and Doctoral programs) in accordance with the Act on Institutions of Higher Education thatwas in force at the time. In accordance with the amendments to the Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education,as well as withthe recommendations of the Rectors' Conference, the Faculty of Medicine prepared the program for the Postgraduate Doctoral University Study of Biomedicine and Health, which successfully passed evaluation by the National Council for Higher Education, and on 14 February 2007 this program received a permit from the Minister of Science, Education and Sports. The Faculty of Medicine played a great role in the process of standardisation of the Doctoral Study Program of Biomedicine and Health.
We actively participated in conferences in Zagreb where harmonisation of doctoral study programs was discussed (European Conference on Harmonisation of PhD Programs in Medicine and Health Sciences, Zagreb 2004 and 2005. The Faculty of Medicine in Osijek is member of the European organisation ORPHEUS (Organisation for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in the European System). The faculty actively participated in the third ORPHEUS 2007 conference, which was held in Helsinki and which resulted in adocument known as the "Helsinki Consensus Statement", in which the importance of research in clinical medicine is highlighted.
The professional study of Nursing was performed from 2003 to 2010. By virtue of the decision of the Senate of J.J.Strossmayer University of Osijek issued on 1 February 2010, the Professional Study of Nursing was replaced by the Undergraduate and Graduate University Study of Nursing, which has been performed since the academic year 2010/2011. As of the academic year 2010/2011, the Undergraduate and Graduate University Study of Medical Laboratory Diagnostics has also been performed.
The Faculty also performs the following postgraduate specialist study programs:
Postgraduate Specialist Study: Clinical Epidemiology
Postgraduate Specialist Study: Ultrasound in Cardiology
Postgraduate Specialist Study: Anaesthesiology and Reanimatology
Postgraduate Specialist Study: General Internal Medicine
Continuous medical training is well organised and held through a large number of courses and other forms of professional medical development. Since the Bologna process requires thatuniversitiesplay a greater role in lifelong learning, medical faculties will get an even greater role in the continuous medical training of healthcare providers in Croatia.
An especially important factor in the development of the Faculty and its independence in terms of staff was the organisation of a postgraduate doctoral study program, which enabled a greater number of domicile physicians to turn to scientific research and a scientific-teaching career. Consequently, a significant number of departments in the Clinical Hospital Centre Osijek were awarded the title of clinics, which in 2009 resulted in the Clinical Hospital becoming a Clinical Hospital Centre Osijek, alongside the already existing Clinical Hospital Centresin Zagreb, Rijeka and Split. The combined efforts of the management boards of the Faculty of Medicine Osijek and the Clinical Hospital Centre Osijek provided the conditions for the founding of new clinics and clinical institutions, which ultimately ensures a positive future of the Clinical Hospital Centre Osijek as our main and largest teaching site.