Oceania University of Medicine graduates thirteen new doctors

Oceania University of Medicine (OUM) celebrated the graduation of 13 new doctors during a ceremony in Melbourne, Australia, last week.

As the students thanked their families for their support, they also thanked the university and the people of Samoa for allowing the medical students to care for them. 

 “I want to thank our patients at TTM Hospital and their families,” said Dr. Kelechi Ibeh, a graduate from Perth, Western Australia, who undertook some of his clinical rotations in Samoa. 

OUM Vice Chancellor, Toleafoa Dr Viali Lameko, traveled to Melbourne to preside over the ceremony. It was also attended by OUM Founder and Chairman, Taffy Gould, and nearly 100 students, family members, medical school faculty and staff, and others.

As she does in every speech she makes about OUM, Taffy Gould said, “We have the Honourable Prime Minister of Samoa to thank for his vision in starting OUM in Samoa. 

“Some 20 years ago, he had attended a presentation on the prospects of distance learning.  When we made our proposal for OUM, he saw the potential for Samoa and other Pacific Island nations.”

For OUM Vice Chancellor Toleafoa, he said this was a wonderful day for OUM.

“The ceremony does not mark end of their education but the beginning of a new medical career for our graduates,” he said.

The graduates included Dr. Alan Lee, MBBS, from the United States and from Australia Dr Celeste Barrington, MD; Dr Chamara Samarasinghe, MD; Dr Diana Stephen, MBBS; Dr Hilary Skimming, MBBS; Dr Kathryn Tram, MD; Dr Kelechi Ibeh, MD; Dr Kim Adriano, MBBS; Dr Mark Wallace, MBBS; Dr Naomi Briggs, MD; Dr Nilofar Daneshi, MD; Dr Paul Jordan, MBBS; Dr Tausif Sawdagar, MD.

All OUM students travel to Samoa to do at least one four-week clinical rotation, usually many more.  

More than 40 OUM students will travel to Samoa this year for their clinical rotations at TTM Hospital. 

Founded in 2002, OUM has 240 students, with six Samoan scholarship students among them and potentially three more on the way in July, 2019.  

Students from Australia and New Zealand comprise almost 60 percent of OUM’s student body, and their pass rate of the Australian Medical Council exams and the New Zealand Registration Examination is near 100 percent. 

OUM now has 110 graduates practicing medicine or undergoing post-graduate training in Samoa, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States.  

First accredited in 2010 by the Philippine Accreditation Association for Schools, Colleges and Universities, OUM remains the only internationally accredited medical school amongst the Pacific Island nations.

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