Scientific Research Institutes > University Institutes > General, Family and Preventive Medicine

Institute of General Practice, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine

Director: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Maria Flamm, MPH

The Institute of General Practice, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine was founded in 2006. The Institute plays an important role in the education of the students in medicine and devotes itself to scientific research in the general and preventive medicine. One of its main areas is the healthcare research, the care for the chronically ill and the healthcare system research. The goal of the Institute is, among other things, to work on the future development of our healthcare system and on the economical, evidence-based primary and general healthcare service of our population.

Teaching (study in human medicine)

First study year: Introduction to the patient care

The focus of this course is on the physician-patient relationship and communication. The students must know the everyday life in a doctor's practice and confront themselves with the everyday situations, but also with difficult medical care situations. The subjects are, among other things, "What makes a good physician?" and "Difficult conversation situations". An important key point of the course is the handling of socially challenged patients, difficult healthcare situations (e.g. migrants and others) and ethical subjects (handling the dying in a hospice, patient living will).

The subjects are handled both within the framework of brief keynote presentations with a follow-up discussion in the group and also in individual case demonstrations. Through the role-playing and exercises in communicative competence as well as with problem-based case processing, the students must be brought closer to the dealing with the patients. This is expanded with experience reports of affected patient or their relatives.

The course continues with individual course days or course afternoons through the second half of the first year of study and comprises 50 teaching hours, with one of them being a day in a general medicine surgery.

Second study year: Introduction to the patient evaluation

This course teaches taking the medical history and examination technique. It is conducted under the auspices of the general medicine (directed by Univ. Prof. Dr. Maria Flamm, MPH) together with the different medical disciplines in the university clinics of the Salzburg Province Hospital and in the Christian-Doppler Hospital as well as in the general medicine practices and has about 180 teaching hours.

In the first part of the course, the students receive theoretical introduction to taking the medical history and the examination technique and practise the learned techniques (heart and lungs auscultation, percussion, palpation, examination of the musculoskeletal system, etc.) in examining eachother. In addition, they receive communication training for conducting the anamnesis conversation, including above all also the difficult situations in the physician-patient relationship.

In the second part of the course, the students get to know patients in the wards of the most important medical disciplines. They take, under supervision, anamneses and perform independently, under supervision, examinations of patients. In the general medicine teaching practice, the taking of medical history and the examination technique are practised in the primary care area. At the same time, they get to know the clinic and the primary care which allows the students to learn early in the study program the various working methods in the clinic and the basic general-medicine healthcare.

Fourth study year: Block course in general and family medicine

In this teaching event, the students of the fourth study year are taught in 41 hours block teaching (all day) the principles of general medicine (among other things, definition of the subjects, conducting the conversation, evaluation of the diagnostic measures in the low prevalence area, frequent treatment cases, function of the "pilot" in the healthcare system, cooperation with the specialists from other areas and stationary equipment, prevention). A typical teaching form of this event is the development of the knowledge through discussion in a small group (7 or 14 students) alternating with individual problem-oriented acquisition of knowledge.

Fifth study year: General medicine block internship

In this study section, there is a 4-week internship in a general-medicine teaching practice that has to be completed.


Detailed information about the research projects below can be found in the download section.

PRIMA eDS - Project presentation

Polypharmacy in chronic diseases: Reduction of inappropriate medication and adverse drug events in elderly populations by electronic decision support.
The Institute of General Practice, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine of Paracelsus Medical Private University (PMU) provides an important contribution in the conducting of systematic reviews in the development phase of PRIMA-eDS (electronic decision support = eDS) available online and coordinates the study performed in Austria for testing the effectiveness and functionality of eDS tools.


The Institute of General Practice, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine conducts in cooperation with the Institute for Nursing Science and Practice a qualitative study on the subject Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The objective is to determine the strong and weak points of the coordinated care for COPD patients in Salzburg. Based on the results of this PRE study, an interdisciplinary, structured and inter-sectoral COPD management must be developed (ISI COPD).


Within the framework of the support program Interreg IV Italy-Austria, we have conducted together with the South Tyrol Academy for General Medicine the intervention study "IQuaB" (Improvement of Quality by Benchmarking). The goal was to improve the care for chronically ill people in the registered doctor's practices in the provinces Pinzgau, Pongau and South Tyrol.

DMP diabetes evaluation study

At the beginning of 2006, theresponsible Austrian authorities decided to introduce a Disease Management Program (DMP) for patients with diabetes mellitus Type 2. Since the information about the effectiveness of such programs internationally is insufficient,the Institute of General Practice, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine of Paracelsus University was encouraged to accompany the introduction of the DMP with a randomised-control clinical study.

DMP follow-up

After the conclusion of the randomised-control study for evaluation of the DMP diabetes, the participants in the study were observed further within the framework of a multi-annual follow-up study in order to research the long-term effects of the DMP on the metabolism control and the complication rate. This study was sponsored in the first year by the Jubilee fund of the Austrian national bank.


Developing and validating disease management evaluation methods for European health care systems ( The DISMEVAL project was financed by the Seventh framework program of the European Union (FP7) (Agreement No. 223277).

The DISMEVAL project has led to the creation of a multidisciplinary team of ten partners from seven European countries (Germany, UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria). The project was realised on order by the European Commission (Seventh Framework Program Health).

"Aktivtreff Diabetes"

The disease management programs (DMPs) for diabetes have until now shown only limited effect on the existing medical care deficits. Self-management and peer support appear as much promising new approaches to the treatment of diabetes. In the "Aktivtreff Diabetes" study, a peer support program based on self-management must be evaluated.

Research service evidence-based medicine (REM)

The REM project, an evidence-based question-answer service for registered practising doctors, has contributed to the implementation of the evidence-based medicine in the everyday practice. The REM was made possible through cooperation with Actavis Austria. With this point-of-care tool it was possible to redirect questions, which have emerged in the course of providing care to the patients, to the institute via the REM Internet platform. An own team, consisting of physicians with in-depth education in the evidence-based medicine, provided answers to these questions on the basis of the currently best available evidence.

Preoperative diagnostic

In cooperation with the Anaesthesiology department of the Schwarzach Hospital,the Institute of General Practice, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine has conducted a study for surveying and quantifying the preoperative diagnostics. Data was collected from almost 1,400 patients who were operated in Schwarzach Hospital. On behalf of the Austrian Society for Anaesthesiology, Reanimation and Intensive Medicine (ÖGARI) and the Federal Health Ministry, the institute prepared a systematic overview study on the evidence basis for performing preoperative analyses in elective interventions.

Medication errors in the general medicine

The cooperation with LINNEAUS Euro-PC was a coordination measure supported by the Seventh Framework Program of the European Union, which was devoted to studying the deficits regarding the patient safety in the primary healthcare. The project was subdivided in nine work packages (for details: and Paracelsus Medical University concentrated itself thereby on the medication errors in the primary healthcare services.


In 2008, the Federal Health Ministry (BMG), the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Security (AGES) and the Main Association of the Austrian Social Insurance Agencies started jointly the Austria-wide project "REVAN – Eating the Right Food from the Start". Within the framework of the project, a workshop on state of the art of science was offered for all pregnant women who received in three hours comprehensive knowledge, relevant to everyday life, on the subject "Nutrition during the pregnancy". In order to determine the benefits of the workshops, the Institute for General, Family and Preventive Medicine of Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg evaluated the "Nutrition during the pregnancy" workshops.


The medication treatment is one of the most important pillars of our healthcare system. With the growing number of medicaments, the risk for undesirable effects of medications (UAWs) also increases. A large part of these UAWs can be prevented by specific interventions. The iMedication research project has the goal to develop an intelligent cockpit for identification and monitoring the undesirable effects of medications. As an IT-supported application, iMedication supported the medication process in the hospital and thus the patient safety.

Congresses and events

Jour fixe in General Medicine

The Jour fixe in General Medicine is devoted – as a continuous education series taking place once a month (as a rule, on the second Wednesday of the month, from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm) – to relevant general medicine subjects. The continuous education offer is oriented to students in medicine from the fourth and fifth years of study, residence physicians, assistant physicians and practising general practitioners. The treated subjects are prepared and discussed in a dialogue between a practising general practitioner, an employee of the institute and a clinician.

Team and contact


RESEARCH PROJECTS of the Institute of  General Practice, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine

Jour fixe General Medicine SUBJECTS OVERVIEW