At the Philippine General Hospital family medicine outpatient clinic, SHMS PA student Natasha Greendyk looks under a microscope at active tuberculosis alongside clinic staff members. Photo by Lauren Seavy, M.P.A., PA-C, faculty member in SHMS' Department of Physician Assistant.
In today’s global healthcare arena, professionals with cross-cultural experience have a distinct advantage — and Seton Hall University's School of Health and Medical Sciences (SHMS)
has taken another bold step in preparing its students to excel.
SHMS' most recent international affiliation agreements are with the University of the Philippines–Manila (UPM), the Philippines' national university and premier learning center for many disciplines, especially the health sciences. In January 2013, SHMS Dean Brian B. Shulman, Ph.D., Seton Hall University President A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., and several SHMS faculty members and students traveled to the Philippines for the signing ceremony and to launch these international collaborations.
"This collaboration furthers the School's strategic mission to provide our graduate students with clinical education opportunities on a global level," Dean Shulman says. "It extends our ongoing globalization efforts, giving our students experiences that will serve them very well in their chosen health professions. The host nation also benefits from the approaches and skills our well-rounded students bring to the experience."
From left to right: School of Health and Medical Sciences Dean Brian B. Shulman, Ph.D., Seton Hall University President A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., and University of the Philippines–Manila Chancellor Manuel B. Agulto, M.D., at the January 2013 signing ceremony that marked the beginning of two new clinical affiliation agreements between SHMS and UPM's College of Allied Medical Professions and College of Medicine. Photo by Lauren Seavy, M.P.A., PA-C, faculty member in SHMS’ Department of Physician Assistant.
SHMS' Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) students will participate in these new clinical experiences via UPM's College of Allied Medical Professions, and Master of Science in Physician Assistant (PA) students will take part through UPM’s College of Medicine–Department of Community and Family Medicine.
President Esteban's Filipino heritage inspired the SHMS collaboration with UPM. "UP Manila is the leader in health sciences education in the Philippines," he says. "This partnership will provide our students with a new, exciting opportunity and unique clinical experience. Hopefully it will help our students become better health care providers."
SHMS SLP student Jamie Hyler, who participated in clinical rotations through UPM this winter, recommends the international experience to anyone who is considering a career in healthcare. "Becoming familiar with other healthcare systems and cultural differences is sure to make anyone more culturally sensitive and accommodating to those with limited means," says Hyler, who worked with children, ages 3 through 10, who recently had their cleft lip/palate repaired.
"UPM offers an excellent platform for our students to observe and engage in interprofessional education, another strategic vision for SHMS," says Vikram Dayalu, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at SHMS. "Our students will be immersed in the day-to-day clinical rotations at UPM, collaborating with their UPM peers and clinical faculty in planning and executing treatment sessions."
Department of Physician Assistant chair Christopher Hanifin, M.S. '99, PA-C, expands on the benefits of this international partnership. "As a student, being exposed to a low-resource area can be a great experience. When you are in an environment where you do not have the luxury of ordering diagnostic tests, students are forced to rely upon their history-taking skills, their physical examination skills, and their clinical judgment," he says, indicating that this not only benefits their overall professional development, but also helps reduce the costs associated with "unnecessary testing," a hot topic in the United States.
"I recommend international medicine rotations because it gives students a different perspective and emphasizes the importance of maximizing resources," says PA student Natasha Greendyk, who saw patients at the Canossa Health and Social Center and observed the family medicine outpatient clinic at Philippine General Hospital.
Dean Shulman is eager to continue this collaboration and develop others. "We are already exploring new international opportunities for faculty, as well. It is my goal to provide our SHMS faculty with international opportunities in teaching and research."
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