School of Medicine reveals positive developments

The National University of Samoa’s School of Medicine will have full-time teaching staff in the 2019 academic year.

And the education of Samoa’s medicine students will include live online lectures in partnership with the University of Otago Medical School.

This was according to the NUS Vice Chancellor, Professor Fui Asofou So’o, in an interview with the media yesterday.

The development comes five years after the establishment of the School of Medicine and four years after the teaching of the first course. 

Partnerships between the School of Medicine and The University of Otago, Yale and Brown Universities in the United States, the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (SROS) and the University’s Faculty of Science for joint teaching and research in medicine and health science will also benefit the School and its students, added the University’s Vice Chancellor. 

“Our School of Medicine started in the 2014 and our first programme was taught as from 2015. In 2017 we brought together the School of Nursing and Health Science and the School of Medicine to form the Faculty of Health Science. At the moment Health Science consist of two schools, School of Nursing and Health Science and School of Medicine,” he said. 

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“The important development is that for the first time since we started our own Medical School within the National University of Samoa we have a full time teaching staff. And we were only able to do that with the assistance of other institutions – which is the University of Otago Medical School.

They have always assisted us since we started back at the time, we had the Oceania University of Medicine at the time we established ourselves as a national medical school, school of medicine in the 2014, with our new programme 2015 this is the first time we have full staff on board.”

Professor Fui Asofou So’o said with the continued support of the University of Otago Medical School, this year the students will be able to have live online lectures from Otago University.

“So we have the continued support of the assistance of the University of Otago Medical School, as from this year they will be teaching live from Otago some of the courses in our medical programme.”

“We will also have the assistance of our highly qualified researches from Yale and Brown University in the States. We will also have as from this year the assistance of SROS,” he added.  

The NUS School of Medicine approached SROS for assistance, in relation to the engagement of its staff as lecturers, which Professor Fui Asofou So’o said has been approved by its CEO Dr Seuseu Tauati. Consequently, three staff will also lecture at the university including the CEO, Dr. Seuseu Tauati. 

“We have requested and got the approval of the CEO that we can have the assistance of three of their staff members, who will be helping us in teaching of the School of Medicine as from this year.”

Professor Fui Asofou So’o said professional staff development is also important for the university, consequently the creation of a professor position within the School of Medicine.

“Another important development in our staff development, we have a first time established professor position at the School of Medicine – our founding Professor Aiono Dr. Alec Ekeroma, who has a joint appointment with the University of Otago, so he is a Professor here at the School of Medicine and also in the University of Otago Medical School,” he added.

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