30 Sep International Medical Education: A Sharing Experience
International Medical Education and teaching overseas may be of interest to many doctors but not always easy to put in place. I was privileged to establish a medical education and exchange program between my hospital, B.C. Children’s Hospital, and our Cardiac Sciences Program and the Cardiac Sciences Program of the Fudan University Children’s Hospital of Shanghai, China. The joint program was supported and funded by our B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Fudan University Hospital.
This partnership lasted for 7 years, where our Cardiac Sciences team, consisting of a cardiologist, an intensivist/anaesthetist, a cardiac surgeon, a perfusionist, and 3 nurses travelled to Shanghai twice a year, for a week, to work in cooperation with the Shanghai team. Teaching and educational instruction was a collaborative effort between cardiology, the catheterization laboratory, cardiac surgery, perfusion, cardiac aneasthesia, ICU medical and nursing staff, and cardiac nursing. Guidelines for standards of practice were provided in relation to developing a cardiac database, a quality assurance program, and a cardiac sciences curriculum.
Integral to the partnership was the training of 4 cardiac surgeons, 1 cardiologist, 1 radiologist, 1 perfusionist, and several nurses through a clinically based 6 month practicum at B.C. Children’s Hospital. These doctors and nurses were exposed to our medical practices, our surgical decision-making and techniques, our postoperative care and nursing care and to some extent our lifestyle.
They took this information and knowledge back home to enhance their cardiac sciences program. Over 7 years our team saw the planning, construction and the moving to a new 750 bed pediatric hospital with state-of-the art operating rooms, ICU, catheterization laboratory and radiology. From 350 moderate complexity cases per year the Fudan University Children’s Hospital Cardiac Sciences Program matured to 1000 cases per year of the highest complexity. Their results were on par with North America.
In conclusion the partnership met its objectives and the sharing of expertise, experience and lifestyle was beneficial to both programs. It was an amazing professional and personal experience.