O.U.M. medicine graduates honoured in Melbourne
Fifteen new Doctors of Medicine graduated from the Oceania University of Medicine at a ceremony in Melbourne, Australia last week.
“All of the graduates completed at least one clinical rotation at Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital in Samoa,” said Vice Chancellor Toleafoa Dr Viali Lameko.
Toleafoa traveled from Samoa to lead the festivities, which saw the new graduates join the university's total pool of 122 total graduates.
In a statement, Toleafoa noted three students won the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence, which recognises exceptional performance in medical school coursework.
In attendance were O.U.M. Chairman and Founder, Taffy Gould, Deputy Vice Chancellor Randell Brown, Dean for Australia Dr Meshach Kirubakaran, Dean for Asia-Pacific Dr C.S. Benjamin, Director of Faculty Affairs Dr. Paula Diamante as well as family members, faculty, and students from the region.
“Representing New Zealand, Noor Al-Rawe received her M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree, and representing South Africa, Martin Stonehouse received his M.D. degree,” Toleafoa said.
“Speaking to a hall full of family, friends, faculty, and students, each graduate expressed thanks to Ms. Gould for her forethought in founding OUM in Samoa back in 2002, Mr Joe Korac, our Student Administrator in Australasia, and especially to the people of Samoa.
“I would like to say ‘fa’afetai tele’ to people of Samoa, especially the patients and their relatives, for allowing us to interview them and learn about disease processes while they were in the Tupua Tamasese Meaole hospital,” said new graduate Dr. Adefunke Nnadigwe .
“We also like to thank Dr. Viali Lameko for not only as our Vice Chancellor, and our Clinical Lecturer, but also as our “father –figure” while we were in Samoa” said Australian Dr. Mikaiel Mohmand.
Toleafoa told the Samoa Observer all of the graduates completed at least one clinical rotation at Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital in Apia.
“In the last year, 42 O.U.M. students contributed more than ST$650,000 to Samoa’s economy, through [accommodation], hospital fees, transportation, restaurants and shops, to name a few,” he said.
“Several graduates plan to return to Samoa to complete their internship / apprenticeship training at T.T.M.
“The O.U.M. currently has 11 scholarship students from Samoa, all of whom are required to provide at least five years of service to Samoa upon graduation, in return for their education and the O.U.M. plans to admit four scholarship students per year.”
He said the O.U.M. currently has 239 students from 10 countries and 122 graduates undergoing post-graduate training or practicing medicine in six countries.
“Seven O.U.M. Samoan graduates are practicing medicine at T.T.M. Hospital in Samoa.
“The only internationally accredited medical school in the South Pacific island nations, O.U.M. was founded in 2002 under an Act of Parliament, and brings faculty and learning resources from around the world to its medical students where they live and work.”
The thirteen Australian graduates were: Adefunke Nnadigwe, Colin Marriott, Daliya Sari, Duc Nguyen, Esther Oluyide, Kevin Reid, Matthew Stewart, brothers Mikaiel and Mohamad Yosouf Mohmand, and Tri Ngo.
Drs Nina Neghabian and Peyman Zarkandi were not present and received their degrees in abstentia.