PREPARATIONS for the opening of the College of Medicine, targeted for school year 2014- 2015, are well under way. On October 5-6, doctors from Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital (BRTTH), Bicol Medical Center (BMC), and other hospitals, along with representatives from the Albay Provincial Health Office (PHO), the Department of Health (DOH), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) came together to discuss factors that affect the opening of the college, and the type of curriculum to be used for the medical course to be offered by Bicol University, in consideration of such factors.
Particularly discussed were the economic and socio-political situation of the province and the region in general, as presented by the Assistant Regional Director of NEDA, Mr. Luis G. Banua, and the health scenario of the region, reported by Dr. Raoul Emmanuel Zantua from the DOH-Center for Health Development.
The importance of a state-owned college of medicine in the region was emphasized, noting particularly the need for community doctors rather than hospital-based ones.
Discussed as well were two learning styles, that of the conventional and the problem-based mode. It was decided that a combination of conventional and problem-based education be adopted, to accommodate both the usual lectures and simulations, and actual exposures to cases or health-based problems. It was agreed that such strategy will result in maximized learning among students.
Other discussions included an overview of the proposed BU College of Medicine, BU studies on the various aspects of the health system, highlights of the commission report on the education of health professionals, CHED requirements and the comments of the Technical Panel on Medical Education, Philosophy of Learning and the Need for Integration, and curriculum development. Present in the discussions were Dr. Ruben Caragay, former dean of the UP School for Public Health, and Dr. Teresa L. Yap, former dean of UERM Graduate School, who are the prospective dean and assistant dean, respectively, for the college. Dr. Nemuel Fajutagana of UP Manila and the National Teachers Training Center for Health Professionals particularly shared much input on curriculum development innovations for the proposed medical course.
The second day of the planning workshop was devoted to the conceptualization of the VMGO of the College of Medicine, and the improvement of the proposed curriculum.
It is expected that until its actual opening in 2014, many changes may still be made towards implementing what is best for the college. As BU President Fay M. Lauraya declared at the beginning of the two-day workshop, Bicol University’s College of Medicine should speak of nothing less than excellence, in keeping with its Vision as well as its Quality Policy. According to her, the college should produce globally competitive graduates who will not only pass the licensure exam but will dedicate their service to make Bicol a livable region.(Ma. Celina G. Meneses/OP)