New medical school east of Cascades good for Washington

The state Legislature, in bipartisan votes in the House and Senate, gave the green light to a new Washington State University medical school in Spokane

It seems a wise move for Washington state, which is big enough to support two medical schools.

The state now has a population of 7 million, up more than a million in the past 15 years. But the only state-run medical school, the University of Washington in Seattle, has just 120 slots available each year to in-state students. That, according to a recent study, is about 400 fewer slots than states with similar populations.

There is a real need for more well-trained doctors, particularly in rural Eastern Washington. A Spokane medical school — surrounded by many rural communities — could be the right place to grow some of those doctors.

UW officials aren’t happy with this direction and would rather retain control of the state’s medical education. Who can blame them? The state has been pinching pennies when it comes to higher education. The more schools sharing the pie, the smaller the slices.

Yet, it seems the need to provide more opportunities to allow in-state residents to become doctors is reason enough to expand to two medical schools. WSU has commissioned a study showing it is well-positioned to pursue an accredited medical school.

At this point, given the clear need, it makes sense for WSU to take the lead in locating the school in Spokane, which is relatively close to the main campus in Pullman.

If the effort to establish a medical school under WSU authority runs off the rails, putting it under the UW’s umbrella could be an option.

But let’s give WSU an opportunity to make this work.

The Legislature has approved legislation that eliminates a restriction dating from 1917 that gives the UW the exclusive right to operate a public medical school in the state.

Washingtonians who are qualified to go to medical school need more opportunities. And rural Eastern Washington needs more doctors.

ASU, Mayo lauded for innovation in changing medical school landscape

ASU students collaboratingMedical students at Arizona's Mayo Medical School (scheduled to enroll its first class in 2017) will have the option to earn a master's in health care delivery from ASU in addition to their M.D. Photo by: Andy DeLisle 

Medical students in some of the most respected schools in the country are learning under a new model that emphasizes cost-effective, patient-centered care. Mayo Medical School in Arizona and its partner, Arizona State University, are included in the short list of innovators with its Science of Health Care Delivery programs.

An article in the Wall Street Journal notes that "a wave of innovation is sweeping through medical schools, much of it aimed at producing young doctors who are better prepared to meet the demands of the nation's changing health care system."

Susan Skochelak, vice president for medical education at the American Medical Association told the Wall Street Journal today’s doctors must be educated in areas beyond medicine. “What’s been missing is the science of health care delivery. How do you manage chronic disease? How do you focus on prevention and wellness? How do you work as a team?” she said.

Wyatt Decker, chief executive of the Mayo Clinic's operations in Arizona, including the future home of Arizona's Mayo Medical School, slated to open in 2017, says it's time to change the antiquated model of training tomorrow’s doctors. This includes a new course of study, the Science of Health Care Delivery, which will be embedded throughout all four years of study and will include instruction in health care economics and biomedical informatics. Additionally, with a few additional credits, students at Mayo Medical School can graduate with both an M.D. and a master’s in health care delivery from ASU.

Article source:
Wall Street Journal


Gambia: Over Two Million Worth of Medical, Educational Materials for Institutions in Jarra

Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends, a charitable organisation based in Wales in the United Kingdom recently donated a 20-footer container fully loaded with educational materials and medical equipment worth D2, 500,000.00 to five institutions in Jarra West District in the Lower River Region (LRR).

The consignment include: exercise books and among other learning materials, medications and medical equipment.

The beneficiaries were Soma Major Health Centre, Tahir Senior Secondary School, Pakalinding Upper Basic School and Kanni Kunda Lower Basic School.

The charity's chairman, Myrddin Owens and wife, at a well-attended gathering held at the premises of Sankwia Village Skills Centre in Jarra, also officially handed over a husbandry project funded by the charity to the people of Sankwia Village.

Salifu Puye, the regional governor of LRR, in his remarks, commended Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends for complementing the efforts of The Gambia government under the able leadership of President Jammeh in development of the country. He described the donations as very important and as a step towards nation building.

He expressd believe that the initiative will go a long way to empowering and improving the living standards of Gambians especially those at the grass-roots level.

The LRR governor encouraged the donors to keep up the momentum. He mentioned the newly built husbandry project at Sankwia Skills Centre and the borehole at Soma Major Health Centre amongst other developments brought by the charity.

The district chief of Jarra West, Alhaji Yahya Jarjusey acknowledged the contribution of the charity towards the development of the people of LRR. He informed that Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends is not only providing scholarship for students in Sankwia village but has gone further to dig a borehole at Soma Major Health Centre as well as provided 24-hour solar power system to the health facility.

The chief urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity being provided by the charity and thanked the charity for their various interventions in his district.

Highlighting the various interventions by the charity, Buka Fofana, the coordinator of Sankwia Skills Centre disclosed that Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends is currently providing full scholarship package for 500 students in Sankwia village. The annual scholarship package include school fees plus two uniforms and a pair of shoe for each student from basic to senior secondary schools. "The charity has also sponsored 500 patients in LRR to undergo cataract operation at Soma Major Health Centre," he added.

The project coordinator and councillor for Jaduma Ward in Jarra West District affirmed further that the Husbandry Project in the village of Sankwia, which is being officially inaugurated, is amongst the latest projects of the charity's intervention in LRR.

He recalled that the first intervention of the charity was the establishment of a fully equipped skills centre for youngsters in Jarra to acquire skills, a village cooperative society with ten sewing machines for income generation for the people of Sankwia as well as a state-of-the-art solar power system to Kanni Kunda Lower Basic School in Jarra West.

Myrddin Owens, the chairman of Sankwia Friends, said it all started following his maiden visit to the village of Sankwia in 2005. According to him, it was then that he felt the need to support the people of The Gambia.

Upon his return back to the United Kingdom, he added, he and others took up the initiative to twin the two-village of Jarra Sankwia and AMLWCH in Wales in the United Kingdom.

In 2006 Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends was established and registered as a charitable organisation based in the UK with the aim and objective of giving support to the people of The Gambia especially to those in the community of Sankwia village, and its surrounding communities of Jarra West District.

"Since then Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends has been shipping fully loaded containers annually to The Gambia," Owens stated.

The chairman further informed the gathering that his charity has now spent approximately 30 million Dalasis on various projects; ranging from education, health and agriculture in LRR.

Owens commended the people of Sankwia for the warm welcome accorded him and his wife. "We really appreciate this accompany by the communities of Jarra in honour of our visit to the village of Sankwia. Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends will continue to give support to the people of Jarra Sankwia and surrounding communities," he promised.

Speaking on behalf of the students, Yaya Bah, a student at Tahir Senior Secondary School described Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends as true friends of the village, while thanking them for the support.

Other speakers incuded: Fanding Kanyi, the alkalo of Sankwia village; Seedy Sanneh, the local president of Cyfeillion Sankwia Friends; and Fabakary Sanneh, the chairman of Mansakonko Area Council.

source: http://allafrica.com

Call To Action Against Illegal Payments To India’s Medical Colleges

illustration: Medical education in india (cite from: pravara.com)

Illegal payments to private medical colleges are undermining India’s health system, according to two articles published in The BMJ.

AsianScientist (Feb. 4, 2015) - Despite the Supreme Court declaring the practice illegal, "capitation fees" continue because of high demand for medical degrees. Effectively compulsory one-off donations to get into medical school, they may exceed 10,000,000 rupees (~US$162,000). It is estimated that capitation fees paid to professional colleges last year totaled some 60bn rupees (~US$973,782,000).

One undergraduate student told The BMJ that "it is almost impossible to get admission into government colleges. And in many private colleges it is difficult to get a seat without paying huge sums of money."

The situation is worse for postgraduates, she added, where the number of seats are very limited, "and almost all the government seats go to reserved candidates." The situation seems to have deteriorated recently as the regulator of medical education, the Medical Council of India, did not renew permits for at least ten medical colleges, with 6390 seats lost, explains D'Silva. This decrease coupled with an increase in the number of students applying to medical colleges has reportedly resulted in a sharp rise in capitation fees.

"Except for a few who get into premier institutions of their choice purely on merit, many students face Hobson's choice—either pay capitation to secure admission at a college or give up on the dream of a medical degree," she writes. And while India is in desperate need for more healthcare professionals, a global report, Education For Health Professionals for the 21st Century, states, "In India, the growth of private medical schools raises concerns about the quality and transparency of one of the world's largest medical educational systems." Mr. Ravi Narayan, community health adviser at the Centre for Public Health and Equity, Bangalore, has consistently questioned the commercialization of medical education in the country. He said that the big concern is that many of the newer institutions are set up with substantial political backing.

"This resulting culture of having to pay your way through the system introduces financial pressures which may be in conflict with the values and ethics of medicine, which are steadily getting eroded," he said. Mr. Samiran Nundy, chairman of the department of surgical gastroenterology and organ transplantation at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, agrees. "With an increasing number of candidates paying to get into medicine, merit has taken a back seat," he says. "As a result, the overall quality of graduates is very poor." Although officials at private medical colleges that The BMJ contacted stated that they follow all norms and regulations that govern admissions, many colleges are alleged to have developed covert methods to collect capitation. With such great investment in their education, students are keen to start earning as soon as possible, writes D'Silva.

"As a result, we see a growing inequity in healthcare standards between the rural and urban areas. Few private colleges have mandatory rural postings." Many experts, including Nundy, think that the admission process into medical colleges needs more stringent monitoring "to ensure complete transparency in the admission process" and "leave no room for corrupt practices like capitation." In an accompanying article, Dr. Sanjay Nagral at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre in Mumbai says Indian citizens need reminding that growing commercialization in healthcare and medical education is linked to the corruption they experience in their healthcare encounters.

In 1983, he helped lead a strike by junior doctors in Maharashtra to oppose a government proposal that would permit private medical colleges, which would accept "capitation" fees. Today Maharashtra has 21 private medical colleges, he writes. So what was once perceived as unacceptable is now a gigantic and legitimised industry. He argues that India's medical profession "is too entangled in these institutions to offer substantial resistance to their growth and sleaze" and suggests the international medical community help "by barring students from such colleges from taking training jobs abroad."

"While unpeeling the layers of corruption in Indian medicine we must look at the private medical college industry, he writes. "Besides establishing a poor benchmark for fairness and honesty, they also push students to recover their enormous investment after they start practice, fuelling unethical practices in an already monetised and competitive scenario." Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at: http://www.asianscientist.com/2015/02/health/call-action-illegal-payments-indias-medical-colleges/

cite from: http://www.asianscientist.com

Perelman School of Medicine opens new medical education center

John H. Ammon Medical Education Center on the Christiana Care Health

With the opening of the Henry A. Jordan M'62 Medical Education Center, the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has expanded its urban campus with an innovative new facility that's redefining medical education for 21st century doctors. Just steps away from the Smilow Center for Translational Research and the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, the Jordan Center is among the first in the nation to fully integrate education facilities with active clinical care and research lab space, placing students in the midst of the dynamic practice of medicine.

The opening of the new facility is a highlight in a year of celebrating the 250th anniversary of the nation's oldest medical school.

"With its prime location, the Henry Jordan Center will continue Penn's tradition of close collaboration between faculty and students, and support the Perelman School of Medicine's mission to embody the highest standards in education, research and patient care," said J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, dean of the Perelman School of Medicine and executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System. "It is ideally suited to play a prominent role in advancing innovation in every aspect of medicine."

The three-story, 55,000-square-foot Jordan Center will maximize the power of the Perelman School of Medicine's pioneering learning model, an integrated, multidisciplinary curriculum which emphasizes small-group instruction, self-directed learning and flexibility. Now, from their first day, students will share space with faculty researchers and clinicians as they engage in the team-based curriculum that has helped the medical school remain in the top 5 U.S. News & World Report best medical school rankings for the past 17 years.

The $38 million Jordan Center will offer state-of-the-art technology, including high-tech recording and simulcast capabilities to support global conferences, telemedicine, and creation of online courses and lectures available to millions across the globe. Such technologies will facilitate constant collaboration between Penn Medicine laboratories and other schools, centers, and institutes.

"Graduates of the Perelman School of Medicine are prepared to be not only exceptional physicians but also leaders," said Gail Morrison, MD, senior vice dean for Education, professor of Medicine, and director of Academic Programs for the Perelman School of Medicine. "The Henry Jordan Center is designed to keep us at the forefront of medical education."

Two 3,000-square-foot flexible, technology-rich learning studios can be converted into two or four smaller spaces, and an additional eight wired classrooms form the core of the educational space. The Jordan Center also features a rooftop patio and garden, numerous team learning spaces, and the Joseph and Loretta Law Auditorium and Law Family Pavilion thanks to a gift from brothers and medical alumni Dennis, Ronald, Christopher, and Jeremy Law, who among them hold seven degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. The Measey Foundation continued its support of the medical school by providing major funding for the Measey Learning Commons.

The Lauren J. Wylonis, MD, and Joseph R. Zebrowitz, MD, Center for Student Services will be the new, centralized home for Admissions and Financial Aid, the Curriculum office, and the program for Diversity and Inclusion. Student Affairs, the Combined Degree program, and Continuing Medical Education will also be housed in the Jordan Center.

Philanthropy from graduates played a large role in funding, with more than 250 gifts from alumni and friends. The University of Pennsylvania Health System also contributed matching funds to support its partnership with the Perelman School of Medicine.

The building is being named both in recognition of the legacy of the late Henry A. Jordan, who was a Perelman School of Medicine faculty member and alumnus, and in honor of the Jordan family's whole-hearted support of the center. One of the Perelman School of Medicine's most devoted alumni, Henry Jordan was a steadfast champion of Penn Medicine and its students.

"Henry was passionate in his advocacy on behalf of Penn Medicine," said Morrison. "He saw in our faculty and students a very bright future for medicine. His energy and optimism drew others in and got them excited about supporting medical research, innovative clinical care, and the next generation of health care leaders."

The newly-erected Jordan Center is the first major renovation to Penn Medicine's educational facilities in more than three decades. The medical school has a long and illustrious history around the City of Brotherly Love. After nearly 100 years east of the Schuylkill River, occupying different parts of Old City and Washington Square, the medical school moved to its current location in West Philadelphia, where it grew over the next 150 years into what we see today.

source: Penn Medicine

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