Linggo, Mayo 4, 2014

The Making of a Great Doctor: MD-MPH Program of ADZU-SOM

Having a medical degree is a good thing.  But obtaining a double degree is a great one.

Such is the heart and soul of the Jesuit education that the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) offers.  A maximum of 50 students per year is Selected out of hundreds of applicants to have the chance to graduate with Masters of Public Health (MPH) in the same five years that they Receive Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

Integrated into the MD track, the MPH curriculum prepares generalists with a solid foundation in public health disciplines such as biostatistics, epidemiology, bioethics, environmental and occupational health, social sciences and the list goes on. 

Graduates of the program are well equipped not only to become competent clinicians but also leaders in public health administration, policy and research. 

During their first 3 years in medical school, the medical students spend two months a year to survey health problems, find solutions to those problems and be of service to the people in rural communities. Moreover, 10 months of their senior year is spent in the same barangay, away from the comforts and amenities of the city.

With the yearly experience in rural communities, the students see the different factors that contribute to health  right before their eyes. Not only do they witness the life in the outskirts, They experience them. Not only do they meet those who are underserved, they become in one with them.

With the community as their training ground, the products of ADZU-SOM see, feel, relish and sacrifice along with the people from dusk to dawn. This enhances not only their medical prowess, but also their social skills in dealing with patients from different walks of life.

The MD-MPH curriculum of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University is indeed one of its kind, producing doctors who are not only good. . . but great.

Written by:
Jobel Fernandez
Medicus Dei Enim 2017
Visit her page:

ADZU SOM's Curriculum: An Insight

The world tells us,  "swim where the current goes"  so we do not have to struggle twice as much. The idea behind the Implementation of Problem Based Learning Otherwise ŢĖŁŀŞ us. 

In the PBL process, in contrast to the conventional way of learning, small groups of students are provided with a clinical problem are the priority They are to solve. The group then pools THEIR existing knowledge, identifies gaps of information, Relevant Gathers data and then solves the problem through interactive discussion and team work.

Innovative; this is the first word that I can think of whenever Problem-Based Learning (PBL) comes into the picture. One word, but it speaks volumes. However, as I browsed the net for Additional input, it came as a shock when i stumbled upon websites are priority Wayne the idea of implementing PBL as part of the medical curriculum. A number of them outrightly go against such a contemporary method of teaching. Having been able to have a taste of Problem Based Learning for a semester, I would say,  I beg to differ. 

Let me enumerate my points:

1.)  They say collaboratively in small group learning environment Brings its own stress. The students' competitive attitude in conjunction with different personalities and learning styles Normally Produce tension not experienced in a traditional course. More so, the principle of group dynamics also fails if students Become disinterested and lax.

I say , this is When selection process becomes critical. This is the reason why it is imperative for the admissions committee to not choose students whom not fit in. They see the PBL curriculum. This is also the very reason why our the hundreds of applicants, we, bragging aside, are the chosen few.

PBL group with Dr. Pascualito Concepcion
2.)  They say ADZU SOM's curriculum is like a  "do it yourself Medicine" and that you are accountable for your own learning.

I say , the Rigor involved with our curriculum is resulting in an infinitely more rewarding learning experience. 

Traditional education tends to Produce Often students who are disenchanted and bored with THEIR education. Students from the traditional curriculum are faced with a vast amount of information to Memorize, seems much of priority are irrelevant to the world as it exists outside of school. They Often forget much of what They Learned, and remember that They are the priority can not be applied to the later Problems Often we face in medical practice.

Putting into practice what we read:
History Taking and Physical Exam
In our curriculum , However, the relevance of information is readily apparent Learned; we Become aware of a need for knowledge as They Work to Resolve the Problems Presented to us. Yes, we are responsible for our own learning; Yes, we are the ones looking for answers and yes, we are the ones doing all the hard work. But Should not we be proud of it? Should not we be that kind of accountability welcoming with open arms? It will not make us better learners and more responsible physicians in the long run? Come to think of it.

3.)  Lastly, "Why Spend money for self-learning?" they say. Why would students be paying thousands of peso (Php 66,000 to be exact) for a medical education are priority provides nothing more than 2 hours per day of tutorial discussion?
I say, no amount of money can tantamount to the experiences we had in the past few weeks. We did not only deal with facts, we created memories; we did not only solve case problems, we Established friendships. Have it be two hours, but the feeling of seeing the fruit of our labor Unfolding before our eyes was beyond words. 
I have Spent a few days in PBL classes and I trust that my knowledge is solid. 

More importantly, I believe that PBL taught us to approach dmg dmg each person holistically rather than just a biologic entity. There were fears that there MIGHT be gaps in our knowledge but the crux of PBL is that we would be able to  fill these gaps ourselves if and When Necessary,  rather than waiting for someone to teach us. After all, throughout our Medical careers, we would be on our own. No one would always be there to teach us what we do not know. 

This, I believe, is the edge of students who were trained to think and work for themselves over those who were just spoon-fed with information all throughout THEIR medical education. This, I believe, will one day make us stand proud and say,  " We graduated from the pioneering school of PBL in the country: we are from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine and we are the new breed of doctors ".

Written by:
Jobel Fernandez
Medicus Dei Enim 2017
Visit her page:
Bright Sun