The long-awaited dream of students opting to study medicine at the State premier institute of learning, the University of Liberia, has now come to fruition following the official launch of the Revised Medical School Curriculum for the AM Dogliotti College of medicine.
The new curriculum leverages the latest developments in medical pedagogy, and accelerates Liberia’s physician training pipeline by reducing the duration of pre-service medical training from nine to seven years.
The launch of the revised medical school curriculum for the AM Dogliotti College of medicine is a multi year undertaking that builds on a previous physician training needs assessment and design of the AMD strategic plan.
Making remarks at the occasion, Prof. Moses Moroe Zinnah, Ph.D., Acting President and Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University said the event is a significant achievement of UL President Prof. Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson’s vision of “brightening the light in the darkness”.
“This Revised UL Medical School Curriculum is a huge step in fulfilling our dream of making all the academic programs more student-centered and experiential. I wish to thank Prof. Dr. Bernice Dahn, Prof. Z’Sherman Adams, present and former Vice President for Health Sciences, and their hard-working team for making this dream a reality, Dr. Zinnah said.
He said, Prof. Nelson, upon assuming office as President of the University, challenged them to carry out comprehensive review and revision all curricula across academic programs at UL to ensuring that the curricula are benchmarked against other outstanding Universities within the sub-region and globally to ensure that Liberian graduates can compete with their compatriots within the sub-region and beyond.
The UL acting President thanked the team that developed what he calls an innovative and demand-driven revised curriculum whilst promising the commitment of the Office of Academic Affairs under his watch to work closely with the College of Health Sciences to ensure that the document is fully implemented.
He used the occasion to express gratitude to the United States Government through its Embassy accredited to Liberia for the tremendous financial and technical supports that have enabled the University to achieve the dream he described as big.
Also speaking, UL Vice President for Health Sciences, Prof. Dr. Bernice Dahn explained that the development of the curriculum is the first of its kind exclusively by the faculty of the school noting, it is also the first time to have a fully integrated student-focused work class curriculum from the pre-med stage in the science college to the pre-clinical and the clinical stages.
According to her, the curriculum was tailored to meet the Liberian health needs and it is up to the standards of international medical schools.
“In this curriculum, the faculty members developed detail goals, objectives, cost content, syllabus, schedules and session plan for students in the health sciences,” Dr. Dahn told the gathering.
Also making remarks at both the launch and the closing ceremonies of Camp xSEL, United States Ambassador Michael McCarthy extended appreciation to all who participated in the process of curriculum development and expressed confidence that the work will be transformative for future physicians, the health system, and most of all, for patients throughout Liberia.
“I am impressed with your innovative and strategic vision to ensure these next generations will be prepared for our everyday needs as well as the next unfortunate crisis”, Ambassador McCarthy notes.
The US envoy said the next generation of health workers – from doctors to nurses to administrators, each essential in their own right – will benefit from this new integrated curriculum. Group work and case-based learning foster critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership, all crucial to the medical profession.
“There is a next generation of medical students, today’s secondary students. Let’s congratulate this remarkable class of young scientists who are concluding the inaugural session of Camp xSEL today. It is important to support these bright, young minds any way we can, because they will be the ones taking care of all of us in our golden years” he noted.
Ambassador McCarthy concluded by expressing hope that these exciting milestones will strengthen the health workforce which is a priority for every country, and as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to him, there is no time to waste.
For their part, the students thanked the UL faculty, the US Embassy and other partners for creating the pathway to their dreams.