Alum on faculty at Chicago medical school

During her U.S. clinical rotations and as a resident, Patricia Graham, MD, OUM Class of 2008, says her colleagues were shocked when she would share the medical conditions she saw during the rotations she completed at TTM Hospital in Samoa. Perhaps a little envious.

Dr. Patricia Graham (left) at July New Student Orientation and Graduation Ceremony in Chicago. Next to her are Dr. Sheila Maurer, Dr. Dean Davis, and Dr. Wendy Chen.

“I saw patients with leprosy, rheumatic fever, and typhoid, conditions  I’ll likely never see here at home,” says Dr. Graham, who now shares those experiences with more students as the first Oceania University of Medicine graduate to earn a medical school faculty appointment.

In December 2016, she was appointed an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rush University Medical College in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Dr. Graham teaches ambulatory care medicine to nurse practitioners in her private practice.

“I love teaching, so to be teaching ambulatory is great,” she says. “Rush is also in the process of changing their curriculum to case-based, just like OUM. I loved that format; case studies integrated with physiology, pathology, and specialty topics. I really feel that OUM was a pioneer in online teaching, especially for medicine.”

Dr. Graham says OUM was the right decision for her for a number of reasons.

Good fit

“OUM more than met my expectations. I’ve had the opportunity to work side-by-side with a lot of residents and attendings from other medical schools,” says Dr. Graham. “I’ve also supervised interns and medical students from both foreign and US schools. OUM’s clinical training requirements are much more varied. Having so many non-traditional students also gives our students a much different perspective, a lot more life experiences to call upon and share.”

She also recalls occasions over the years when she has been reminded of her clinical rotations in Samoa.

“OUM’s faculty in Samoa do extraordinary patient exams. They have to. They don’t have the diagnostic equipment so readily available elsewhere. I remember a few times during residency when I had a flashback to being taught at TTM how to do a good neuro exam, without the benefit of MRI. I have been fortunate numerous times to diagnose complications in stroke patients solely through skills I learned from OUM faculty.”

Before attending OUM, Dr. Graham was a registered nurse and physician assistant. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Physician Assistant Studies with a specialization in Internal Medicine from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine. Dr. Graham is licensed in the State of Illinois and passed the American Board of Internal Medicine exam in August 2011.