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College of Medicine curriculum planning held
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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)

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