Clinical Rotations/Affiliate Hospitals
With more and more OUM students successfully completing preclinical training and passing their prerequisite exam, (OUM’s Final Preclinical Examination or USMLE Step 1 for American students), OUM’s regional deans have responsibility for securing and maintaining affiliate teaching relationships with hospitals and other clinical sites that agree to provide clinical rotations to OUM’s third- and fourth-year students. The deans also manage student clinical experiences.
Unlike other overseas medical schools that hold students responsible for finding and arranging their own rotations, OUM establishes formal relationships through affiliation agreements with all facilities where clinical instruction is provided to its students. These arrangements are made with the teaching hospital and/or an individual physician who has additional teaching relationships with accredited medical schools and agrees to act as a student preceptor. These contractual arrangements between OUM and clinical training sites are especially important because numerous licensing boards require proof of such relationships. Agreements document that the hospital, preceptor or supervising physician, and medical school have arranged and followed a supervised curriculum, and produced formal written evaluations, in order to properly document student experiences and performance.
In order to facilitate the acceptance of future physician licensure applications, it is important for students to complete as many rotations as possible in the country in which their medical school is based or in recognized teaching hospitals, which have the infrastructures in place to facilitate formal teaching and document/record rotations and evaluations. OUM students have taken clerkships at OUM’s teaching hospital in Samoa as well as in teaching hospitals in Australia and in the American states of Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, and Virginia.
As students progress to their second year of preclinical studies, they consult with their regional dean to determine what clerkship opportunities exist at that time and to identify additional locations that may be of interest to them. Whenever possible, OUM will leverage strong mentor and student contacts to establish clinical training opportunities near a student’s location of preference; however, this cannot always be accomplished and relocation may be necessary in order to complete years three and four.
Dr. Christopher May, MBBS, is Dean for Australia and is responsible for developing and evaluating suitable clinical clerkships for students in Australia, ensuring that the OUM clinical curriculum is on par with international licensure requirements. He will also supervise students during their rotations and work closely with physician preceptors to ensure that students are getting the most of their core rotations and electives. An emergency medicine specialist, Dr. May is the Director of Emergency Services at Redland Hospital in Cleveland (Queensland), Chair of the Southern Area Emergency Department Network, and District Director of Emergency Services, Southside Health Service District.
Dr. Chellaraj Benjamin, MD, Dean for New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific, is focusing his initial efforts to establish additional clinical opportunities in New Zealand and South India teaching facilities. He is a radiation oncologist in Auckland and coordinator of the government-sponsored New Zealand Medical Treatment Program. In that capacity, Dr. Benjamin has colleague contacts throughout numerous South Pacific island nations. He has been informally associated with OUM for several years, scheduling guest lecturers for the OUM campus, which he will now expand to supervising clinical students and evaluating training sites, as well as researching new programmes.
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