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26/01/2019 - 07:19

Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy stays ahead of the world medical training trend

Implemented from December 2016, the plan to comprehensively reform the training program of Medical Doctors and Odonto-Stomatology Doctors in cooperation with Harvard Medical University (USA) has promised to usher in a revolution in university education innovation at Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy - Hue University.

"With this strategic partnership, the staff of lecturers and students of the university  were given the 4.0 medical education technology transfer, and the university is keeping pace with the advanced medical training trend in the world," affirmed Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Vu Quoc Huy, Vice Rector in charge of Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Vu Quoc Huy

*To be able to start cooperating with the world-famous university like Harvard Medical University is not easy. How did Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy have an approach to Harvard Medical University?

Harvard Medical School is a world-leading university, so the approach, including the working mode with them, has to be very serious. The university prepared contents, programs, feedback from learners as well as employers in Vietnam because those are important "inputs" of the training program reform. Concurrently, the university relied on the "minimum competency standard" of the training program issued by the Ministry of Health to prepare content and work directly with experienced Harvard experts in many sessions in the program restructuring, incorporating new teaching methods and assessments into the curricula. Many business trips have been made by Harvard experts to Hue (average 6-8 times per year), and the university officials have been sent to Harvard Medical University (3-4 trips per year). In particular, the university conducted the pairing of experts in the same field to share experiences, approaches, teaching methods and evaluation and so on.

The plan to comprehensively reform the training program of Medical Doctors and Odonto-Stomatology Doctors in cooperation with Harvard Medical University is a component of the project “Health Professionals Education and Training for Health System Reforms” (HPET) funded by the World Bank through the Ministry of Health of Vietnam, and supported by USAID to innovate the integrated training programs, based on the professional practice capacity and international integration.

*What is the key objective the project aims for, sir?

The innovation program in accordance with Harvard Medical University model, prepared from December 2016, was implemented from the 2018 – 2019 academic year and will end the first course in 2024. The key target of the project is to assure the criteria achievement for knowledge, attitudes and professional practice capacity for learners according to regional and international standards.

Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy was given an assessment of the training facilities by the competent unit in 2016 and March 2017. The Ministry announced that the university achieved the national standard in the quality of a university. Another key target of the project is to implement quality assurance activities during the program implementation and proceed to verify this program after the completion of the first course.

Visiting Harvard Medical University, the USA

* What role do Harvard Medical University experts play in assisting Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy to innovate the training program?

Harvard experts consulted the university on how to develop the overall program, how to arrange the knowledge and skill modules for the entire 6-year program. So far, traditional medical training programs have been designed to teach each subject. The reform program will be step by step implemented for training in the mode of integration and incorporation of some contents of the subjects into modules on the basis of the organ systems.

Harvard experts also consulted on modern teaching methods of theory and practice in medical education, including the so-called 4.0 methods (application of information technology, mobile technology; simulation technology, e-learning, integrated learning management system; how to teach / learn according to the flipped classroom principles, blended learning and teaching-based methods and the methods of creating competencies such as problem-based learning ( PBL), team-based learning (TBL), clinic-based learning (CBL) and so on. These are the teaching / learning methods radically different from the traditional teaching ones.

Harvard experts also consulted on the innovation of clinical assessment methods to ensure more accurate and comprehensive assessment throughout the process. It can be said that this is the essence of the medical education technology that Harvard Medical University transfer to the university with the "hands-on" method very specific to the university lecturers.

Lecturers and students of Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy received and worked with Prof. Darrell G. Kirch, President-cum-CEO of American Medical University Association

*Can you tell us about the positive effects the project is expected to produce?

The process of implementing the reform program in conformity with Harvard Medical University model is a continuous and periodically-adjusted process to fit actual needs. After the end of the first course, it is possible to fully evaluate the effectiveness, but it can be said that the reception and application of this medical education technology enjoy the initial successes and can produce much better effects. Although the workload is much more, the lecturers actively participate in this 4.0 medical education technology.

It is purely coincidental that the university implemented an educational reform project in cooperation with Harvard Medical University at the same time as the world has been in the midst of the 4th wave of medical education innovation since the modern medical training was born. Therefore, the university has the conditions to keep pace with the trend of the world advanced medical training, and is staying ahead of the curve.  It is important that this trend helps learners not only to accumulate knowledge and right attitude but also to build the necessary competencies for the best medicine practice.

*Although it has just been implemented, how do you expect the results of the project? How will the cooperation with the renowned Harvard University help enhance the prestige of Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy?

With the internal motivations of the university, combined with the external support, we expect the university to successfully implement this program in the two most important disciplines at the university level, namely the disciplines of Medical Doctor and Odonto-Stomatology Doctors. It will lay the foundation for replicating the remaining 7 training disciplines of the university at the university level and applying the methods, approaches of Harvard Medical University to the post-graduate training programs. It can be said that this is a revolution in training at Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy in particular and in training in the health sector in universities in general.

The cooperation with Harvard Medical University will exert a great positive impact, above all, on the university's teaching staff, significantly ameliorating the approach in health science training in general and medical training in particular and will contribute to improving the quality and brand of the university.

Thank you.

“I set great store by the qualifications of the staff, lecturers and students of Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy. The teaching staff here has an excellent background, and their acquisition of new knowledge is much faster than other universities in Vietnam where I came to work. Therefore, the application of this innovation program is surely more effective than other university.

I also think that the coordination between Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy and Harvard Medical University will offer enormous benefits. Certainly, the Harvard program cannot be applied 100% here, but we pass on to the lecturers of Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy the principles for them to apply to the Vietnamese context. And I hope, if those principles are applied, later on, Hue will train good leaders, scientists, researchers and know how to be flexible and creative so that when confronting the people's disease models, they can solve them optimally. ”

MSc Doctor David B. Duong, Harvard Medical University expert

Story: Ha Ngoc