OUM’s Roots in Independent Samoa

Addressing the Global Physician Shortage

Addressing the Global Physician Shortage

OUM was founded in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa to address its serious physician shortage, a situation which is today faced globally. All students have the opportunity to train in OUM’s home country, completing a required four-week elective Samoa medical rotation at Tupua Tamasese Meaole (TTM) Hospital. TTM Hospital in Apia, Samoa is OUM’s primary teaching facility.

Two story long TTM Hospital building tall clock tower on left Samoa OUM
OUM Samoan Graduate

Samoa’s Parliament established Oceania University of Medicine in 2002. Today, the University has evolved from a local mission to better meet the health needs of underserved island communities into an internationally accredited medical school providing global physician training and the opportunity to study medicine abroad in Samoa. with a global student body and alumni practicing in many countries.

Located south of the equator and just west of the International Dateline, the country of Samoa is home to warm, friendly people happy to share their rich Polynesian culture and medicine. Two-thirds of the country’s population lives on the largest island, Upolu, where the capital city of Apia, the business commercial center, and the main national port are located. All OUM students are required to complete at least one four-week elective clinical rotation in Samoa, most of which take place at TTM Hospital in the village of Motootua, an Apia suburb where student housing is within walking distance.

Flights into Samoa arrive from Sydney, Brisbane, Honolulu, Auckland, Fiji, Tonga, and American Samoa. Samoan immigration legislation requires that all international students hold a valid passport. Once in country, students must also lodge an application for a student permit with Immigration Services in order to secure their Samoa medical school experience.

The following websites provide helpful information regarding Samoa for both students and prospective students:

Samoa’s climate is tropical, with an average temperature in Apia of 81.5F (28.5C). Relative humidity is high; the average yearly rainfall is 114 inches (290 cm) and occurs during the wet season from November to April.

Dress in Samoa is light and casual. Local custom dictates that women completing their medical education in Samoa should wear clothing that extends to or below the knees. Short shorts, short skirts, tank tops, or other very casual dress are neither appropriate nor acceptable, except at the beach. Students coming for their required elective rotations are advised to bring their OUM scrubs, as this is the recommended dress code for those completing their international medical degrees in Samoa.

The following websites provide helpful information regarding Samoa for both students and prospective students:

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