Oceania University of Medicine continued to grow in 2017. With approximately 220 students and 40 faculty members at year’s end, the University expects to welcome more than 30 new students in January.
“This was our 15th year,” says Taffy Gould, who founded OUM and chairs the OUM Council. “We can look back now and say that we’ve changed medical education history by proving that physicians can be trained through a blend of distance learning and onsite, hands-on experience.”
Ms. Gould took a chance in 2002 and invested a considerable amount of her family’s money to create “the world’s first distance learning medical school.”
“It is never easy being first, but our perseverance paid off,” she says. “While there remain doubters among some in the medical community, each and every graduate proves us right and them wrong that medicine can be taught in this manner.”
Growing Numbers, Meeting Milestones
Provided that all expected to take their final Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) in December, indeed pass it, OUM expects to graduate as many as 27 students in 2017: a school record! Many either have begun or are scheduled to begin their post-graduate internship or residency training.
More graduates are passing the AMC exam and NZREX, and American students are passing USMLE Steps 1 and 2. Plus, more Americans are passing the In-House Exam and expect to take USMLE Step 1 next year.
“This is the progress we like to see,” says Dr Viali Lameko, OUM’s Vice Chancellor. “We had 35 students come to Samoa for clinical rotations in 2017, and for 2018 some of our slots are already fully booked.”
By comparison, 17 students rotated in Samoa in 2016 and only one rotated at TTM Hospital in 2015.
The University progressed in several ways during 2017:
- Mini-case discussions were added to the system-based modules, giving students exposure to 254 clinical entities. They were refined throughout the year and their further development will continue next year. (Read More)
- A new clinical skills course was designed in 2017, ready for implementation in 2018. (Read More)
- Jackson Park Hospital in Chicago was added as a full-service clinical teaching site for all students. (Read More)
- Kushma Nand, a nephrologist based in Melbourne, joined OUM as the new Associate Dean for Australia. (Read More)
- As many had requested, students were provided with a protocol for receiving feedback on their exams. (Read More)
- With input from students and physician mentors, mentor applications were revised and simplified. (Read More)
- In response to the 2016 student survey, Clinical Student Advisers were introduced in 2017, giving students extra support during their clinical rotations. (Read More)
- A new entry course, the e-Foundation 300, which combined the e-ITM and e-Foundation 200 blocks, was developed in 2017 and will be rolled out for new students in 2018. (Read More)
“We wish all our students and faculty the very best for a happy and restful holiday season and look forward to an even better 2018,” says Ms. Gould.